Red, Ready, but will improve

2008 Ch. Valandraud, St Emilion

2008 Ch. Valandraud, St Emilion

Red | Ready, but will improve | Chateau de Valandraud | Code:  8935 | 2008 | France > Bordeaux > St-Emilion | Merlot | Full Bodied, Dry | 12.5 % alcohol


Please note:

Wines sold "In Bond" (including BBX) or “En Primeur” are not available for immediate delivery and storage charges may apply.

Duty and VAT must be paid separately before delivery can take place.

See All Listings

Scores and Reviews



WA - Tasted blind at the Valandraud vertical at the property, the 2008 Valandraud is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc matured in new oak for 24 months. It put in a quite brilliant performance (here paired against the 2008 Trotanoy). It has a boisterous, bravura of a nose with outstanding vigor and clarity: red cherries and boysenberry fruit, graphite and traces of wet limestone. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, beautiful pure black cherry and raspberry fruit with a faint touch of orange sorbet. Seamless in texture with a refined and silky smooth finish, this is drinking beautifully now but will clearly age for another two decades. This is outstanding for the vintage. Tasted December 2016.
Neal Martin - 01/03/2017

The Producer

Chateau de Valandraud

Chateau de Valandraud

Château de Valandraud was one of the first Garagiste wines with its inaugural vintage being the difficult 1991. Jean-Luc and Murielle Thunevin own a mere 2.7 hectares of vineyards which consist of 4 separate parcels and are planted with 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 5% Malbec.

De Valandraud's yields are pitifully low and the grapes are de-stemmed by hand before being fermented in 2 open-top fermenting vessels. Malolactic fermentation takes place in oak barrels and the wine is matured in "200%" new oak barriques for 18 months (two sets of new barrels for 9 months each).

De Valandraud produces only about 400 cases a year and, not surprisingly, this very rich and concentrated St-Emilion is now one of the most sought-after wines in Bordeaux.

The Grape



The most widely planted grape in Bordeaux and a grape that has been on a relentless expansion drive throughout the world in the last decade. Merlot is adaptable to most soils and is relatively simple to cultivate. It is a vigorous naturally high yielding grape that requires savage pruning - over-cropped Merlot-based wines are dilute and bland. It is also vital to pick at optimum ripeness as Merlot can quickly lose its varietal characteristics if harvested overripe.

In St.Emilion and Pomerol it withstands the moist clay rich soils far better than Cabernet grapes, and at it best produces opulently rich, plummy clarets with succulent fruitcake-like nuances. Le Pin, Pétrus and Clinet are examples of hedonistically rich Merlot wines at their very best. It also plays a key supporting role in filling out the middle palate of the Cabernet-dominated wines of the Médoc and Graves.

Merlot is now grown in virtually all wine growing countries and is particularly successful in California, Chile and Northern Italy.

The Region



St Emilion is one of Bordeaux's largest producing appellations, producing more wine than Listrac, Moulis, St Estèphe, Pauillac, St Julien and Margaux put together. St Emilion has been producing wine for longer than the Médoc but its lack of accessibility to Bordeaux's port and market-restricted exports to mainland Europe meant the region initially did not enjoy the commercial success that funded the great châteaux of the Left Bank. 

St Emilion itself is the prettiest of Bordeaux's wine towns, perched on top of the steep limestone slopes upon which many of the region's finest vineyards are situated. However, more than half of the appellation's vineyards lie on the plain between the town and the Dordogne River on sandy, alluvial soils with a sprinkling of gravel. 

Further diversity is added by a small, complex gravel bed to the north-east of the region on the border with Pomerol.  Atypically for St Emilion, this allows Cabernet Franc and, to a lesser extent, Cabernet Sauvignon to prosper and defines the personality of the great wines such as Ch. Cheval Blanc.  

In the early 1990s there was an explosion of experimentation and evolution, leading to the rise of the garagistes, producers of deeply-concentrated wines made in very small quantities and offered at high prices.  The appellation is also surrounded by four satellite appellations, Montagne, Lussac, Puisseguin and St. Georges, which enjoy a family similarity but not the complexity of the best wines.

St Emilion was first officially classified in 1954, and is the most meritocratic classification system in Bordeaux, as it is regularly amended. The most recent revision of the classification was in 2012

Customer Reviews
Questions And Answers