Valandraud released on Monday, which we have held back to release today with Les Carmes Haut Brion. Valandraud has followed their stellar 95-97 scoring 2015 with an equal score in 2016 from Neal Martin, in fact Martin says ‘a little more finesse than the 2015 last year with a slightly confit-like finish that grips the mouth.’ James Suckling has awarded it 97-98 points and declared it ‘Pinpoint.Superb.’ The release price in 2016 is £1,500 per case of 12, or £750 per case of six. This presents a 22% euro increase on last year and a premium to the 2015. However, with a median score of 96 points it stacks up well against the 96 scoring 2010, which trades at £2,300 per case. Indeed, the 95 scoring 2009 and 2005 trade presently at £2,400 and £2,100. This points to the fact that the 2015 and 2016 vintages are good twin vintages to hold.



Valandraud is a young Estate, dating back to 1989 when Jean-Luc Thunevin and Murielle Andraud purchased a very small premium 0.6 hectare plot of vines next to Pavie Macquin and La Clotte. They have since increased the size of the property which now covers 10 hectares. The Estate’s name comes from a combination of the location of the vines, Vallon ‘Val’ de Fongabon, and the last name of Murielle Andraud, chief winemaker.

In recognition of the amazing wines the Estate have been producing, Valandraud was upgraded to Premier Grand Cru Classes B in 2012, putting it alongside some of the greats of St Emilion, including La Mondotte, Pavie Macquin, Figeac and Troplong Mondot. In fact, only 14 of the many great Estates in St Emilion have this accolade. Valandraud is an Estate which continues to go from strength to strength and as such offers a very attractive vintage premium.

Chateau Valandraud 2016, 12×75 – £1,500 EP or 6×75 – £750 EP

95-97 Points, Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate
The 2016 Chateau Valandraud is a blend of 10% Cabernet Franc and 90% Merlot picked between 5 October to 15 October for the last Cabernet Franc, delivering 14.5% alcohol, less than in 2015. It has a very mineral-driven bouquet thanks to the limestone soils (please refer to the January 2017 issue of Wine Advocate where I examine the terroir of Valandraud). The palate is succulent on the entry with fine tannin, crisp and focused with superb definition, a little more finesse than the 2015 last year with a slightly confit-like finish that grips the mouth. It will require five or six years to really mellow and shave off those edges, but this will be a seductive 2016 from Jean-Luc Thunevin.

97-98 Points, James Suckling
Fantastic core of dark fruit with blackberries, blueberries, licorice and crushed stones. Full body, beautifully polished tannins and a long and energetic finish. Pinpoint. Superb.

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