Chateau Valandraud 1994
€ 168,19 (in Vat)
|Region||Bordeaux, St. Emilion|
|Grape||Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Bordeaux Blend|
|Condition||From Original Wooden Case|
Drink it to believe it.
Valandraud is one of the most interesting stories in Bordeaux. The wine is made from an unheralded terroir owned by the young, obsessive/compulsive, 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? An opaque purple color, and a firm, closed set of aromatics (sweet blackcurrant, woodsy, smoky aromas emerge with airing) are revealed in this blockbuster 1994. The wine possesses fabulous purity, great flavor intensity, a sweet inner-core of fruit on the mid-palate, and a full-bodied, layered, viscous finish. It is unquestionably one of the finest wines of the vintage.
Winespectator / James Suckling (91)
Excellent concentration for the vintage, with seductive aromas and flavors of wild berry, mineral, mint and vanilla. Full-bodied, with fine, silky tannins and a caressing finish. Inviting now, but better in 1999. A rising star in St.-Emilion, and the best wine ever bottled from this estate.
Rene Gabriel rates this wine 19/20 points.