The penultimate release comes in the form of Jean-Luc Thunevin’s Château Valandraud, which is offered @ £1,550.00 IB per case or £775.00 IB per case of six...
This has a display of drop-dead gorgeous raspberry, boysenberry and blackberry confiture flavors unfurling from its core, backed by flamboyant anise and black tea notes. It’s rich, polished and seriously long. And then there’s a light twinge of chalky finesse at the very, very end to keep it grounded.
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.
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.