About Chateau Valandraud 2019 Saint Emilion, Premier Grand Cru Classe
Château Valandraud, known as the “garage wine” turned into a 1st classified growth of Saint Emilion, started humbly on a 1.5 acre vineyard and a garage turned into a vinification cellar by Jean-Luc Thunevin. Since then, Chateau Valandraud has grown to an over 21 acre vineyard based on the clay and limestone terroir of Saint Etienne de Lisse.
The current 2019 vintage is a careful blend of 90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon and one of the highest rated vintages ever for their St. Emilion Premier Cru Classe.
Wine Enthusiast rated the barrel sample 98-100 points with a final 99 point rating saying: 'This is a dense and luscious wine, the best yet from this estate. Its great structure and tannins show a style that is powerful but all within. This is a magnificent vintage from this Premier Grand Cru Classé estate, and fully deserves to be aged for many years.'
Jeb Dunnuck gave it 99 Points noting:
'The local bad boy of Bordeaux, Jean-Luc Thunevin, continues to fashion truly brilliant wines, and his 2019 is no exception. Based largely on Merlot with small amount of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2019 Château Valandraud is a deep purple-hued beauty offering up a kaleidoscope-like bouquet of black and blue fruits, scorched earth, chocolate, gravelly earth, spicy oak, and sappy flowers. Deep, rich, full-bodied, and wonderfully concentrated, it has insane purity of fruit, brilliant tannins, a stacked mid-palate, and just has everything in the right places. It's up with the top wines of the vintage and a tour de force that readers should snatch up. It shows a very different style than the sexier 2018, but it's every bit as good. It needs 4-5 years of bottle age and will evolve for 2-3 decades. Best After 2026'
James Suckling scored it 98 points saying:
'Vivid and focused with brightness and clarity of fruit. Dried flowers, too. Full-bodied with layers of fine, soft tannins that spread across the palate and show class and refinement. It goes on for minutes. A beautiful bottle. Best from 2027, but so attractive already.'
Wine Advocate gave it 96 points calling it:
'Rich and dramatic, the 2019 Valandraud bursts with aromas of berry fruit, plums and licorice, framed by a lavish but far from exaggerated application of creamy new oak. Full-bodied, fleshy and sensual, it's broad and enveloping, its lavish core of fruit framed by ripe, polished tannins and succulent balancing acids. Seamless and integrated despite its ripe, hedonistic style, this has turned out beautifully and has the balance to perform well for at least two decades, even if there's no youthful asperity to preclude near-term enjoyment. Best after 2021.'
Wine Spectator rated it 95 points and said:
'Richly textured, featuring cashmere-like waves of dark plum, cassis and blackberry compote flavors that glide through and are laced with light violet, anise and black tea notes. The rumble of tannins can be heard on the finish, but for the vintage, this is extremely suave in the end. Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2025.'