Château Valandraud, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru. Valandraud Castle is the result of considerable work of a passionate couple in the world of wine, Jean-Luc and Murielle Andraud Thunevin. The couple acquired over time on the 10 hectare appellation Saint-Emilion. With the collaboration of renowned winemaker Michel Rolland and thanks to modern viticulture and healthy, the success of Chateau Valandraud is immediate. Head over the so-called garage wines, Chateau Valandraud reached in twenty years to be among the most popular wines of the Bordeaux region. .
Valandraud is one of the most interesting stories in Bordeaux. The wine is made from an unheralded terroir owned by the young, obsessivecompulsive, exuberantly passionate Monsieur Thunevin. He produces a Bordeaux from tiny yields and ripe fruit, ages it in 100% new oak, and refuses to fine or filter prior to bottling. Sadly, Valandraud has become the darling of speculators, largely because of (1) its fabulous quality, and (2) its limited production. There were only 4,200 bottles produced in 1993, 8,998 in 1994, and 11,400 in 1995. It is easy to criticize the outrageous prices this wine fetches, but lunatic speculators aside, Valandraud symbolizes what can be done in Bordeaux when the limits of quality are pushed to the maximum, and the advice of most oenologists (who for nearly three decades have encouraged too much fining and filtering) is ignored. The only question I have concerning Valandraud is: will this wine, when fully mature, live up to its extraordinary promise? This is undoubtedly one of the most concentrated wines of the vintage. The color is an opaque purple, and the wine exhibits fabulously sweet, ripe, black-cherry, and cassis fruit nicely infused with subtle oak, and a touch of minerals and truffles. Full-bodied, with exceptional density and no hard edges, the unbelievably concentrated 1993 Valandraud is a tour de force in a vintage that does not seem capable of producing wines such as this.