Chateau Valandraud   Chateau Valandraud

2011 Chateau Valandraud

By Chateau Valandraud

2011 Chateau Valandraud from Chateau Valandraud, Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux

Along the verdant slopes of Saint-Émilion lies the genesis of the 2011 Chateau Valandraud, an offering that establishes itself firmly within the pantheon of Bordeaux wines. It's essential for any serious wine investor to consider this vintage for its variegated narrative, one sculpted by the diverse climatic vicissitudes of its year.


Characteristics Defining the Vintage Narrative

The year 2011 in Bordeaux was marked by contrarieties; a sultry spring prompted an early flowering, yet July appeared with mildness unforeseen. Amidst the uncertainty, Chateau Valandraud conjured excellence. As nature balanced its disparities, August bestowed warmth and September nurtured the fruit with temperate days and cool nights – a prelude to rich complexity. Integral to this year was the rigorous selection process at harvest, providers of precious berries that exemplify both resilience and finesse.


The Embodiment of 2011’s Rich Tapestry

Within the glass, the 2011 Chateau Valandraud articulates the unique tenor of its birth year. A bouquet braided with dark cherries and a whisper of truffle telegraphs immediate distinction. On the palate, a battalion of blackcurrant dances in tandem with fine-grained tannins – an allegiance forged through attentive élevage. The meticulous integration of oak imparts a subtlety – spiced vanilla – which never dares to overwhelm but rather serves to elevate the core expression of the fruit.

Modernity marks this vintage as readily as tradition; there is an immediate approachability which belies its capacity for evolution in cellar slumber. For investors, it serves as a multidimensional chess piece: poised for endurance yet also ready to delight in its relative youth.


Conclusion: An Investment Grade Artform

In sum, the 2011 vintage from Chateau Valandraud stands as a tome from which Bordeaux aficionados might study an exceptional year's tale. It reflects not just mastery within viniculture but also an unyielding drive in winemaking innovation. One proposes that within this captivating Saint-Émilion offering lies not just a convergence of climate and creativity, but a potential paragon for investment portfolios attentive to Bordeaux's fine wine dialogue.

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Scores and tasting notes


Tasted blind at the Valandraud vertical at the property, the 2011 Valandraud was the most disappointing of recent vintages, surpassed here by several other wines from equally "challenging" growing seasons. At 30% Cabernet Franc, it has the highest amount of any recent vintages and I wonder if that did not play to Jean-Luc's strengths? It has quite a high-toned bouquet with bold crème de cassis, boysenberry and briary scents that feel more like a 2009 than 2011. The palate is medium-bodied with an attacking, tannic entry. It feels a little angular in the mouth at the moment: dense black fruit, somehow "spiky" and missing a cohesion. It could be a case of just needing more time to gain cohesion, but there is a bitterness on the finish that just nags away, possibly due to that Cabernet Franc. Tasted December 2016.

Neal Martin - The Wine Advocate, 28 February 2017

Vintage performance