Chateau Valandraud   Chateau Valandraud

2018 Chateau Valandraud

By Chateau Valandraud

2018 Chateau Valandraud from Chateau Valandraud, Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux

The 2018 vintage of Chateau Valandraud from Chateau Valandraud unfolds as an eloquent testament to the vibrant and precise winemaking that is synonymous with the estate, a beacon within the Saint-Émilion appellation. My tenure as a critic has offered me ample vintages to reflect upon, yet there is something truly compelling about the confluence of climatic conditions and human touch that the 2018 offering presents.


Distinctive Attributes of a Remarkable Vintage

Encapsulating the essence of the terroir amidst challenges often results in triumph, and the 2018 vintage has defied expectations with its exquisite balance. Bordeaux weathered climatic extremities this year—an initial burst of rain followed by an unyielding summer. Yet these conditions have birthed a vintage where opulence meets finesse, rendering it a standout performer with remarkable ageing potential—a crucial criterion for discerning wine investors.

The 2018 Chateau Valandraud articulates the quality of Merlot harvested from clay-limestone slopes with grace and authority. One finds in this vintage an enchanting array of ripe dark fruits—a cornucopia of black cherries and plums—intertwined with refined tannins seeming to dance harmoniously on the palate. Hints of vanilla and toasted oak weave through this wine's profile, a nod to its astute time in barrels, maturing into an exemplary specimen of vinicultural artistry.


The Investment Perspective: A Fresh and Resilient Addition

The finer nuances of wine investing are mirrored in the sophisticated profile of the 2018 Chateau Valandraud. Its structure promises longevity, while its expressive character during early tastings suggests an elegance that will evolve beautifully over time. As such, it emerges as a promising asset for portfolios poised to reap the benefits of patience.

In summary, the 2018 Chateau Valandraud is not only an expression of its prestigious Saint-Émilion roots but also a celebration of triumph over a year fraught with climatic hurdles. It stands as one of those articulate vintages that not only resonate with the connoisseur’s palate but hold promise as a durable investment poised for maturation into richness and complexity over time.

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Scores and tasting notes


This is a fantastic young Bordeaux with superb depth of fruit and complex tannin structure. Hints of smoke, spice and toasted oak. Full body and firm, dusty tannins. Very long finish.

James Suckling - - April 2019


This is richly fruited, with waves of fleshy raspberry, boysenberry and red currant cruising through, inlaid with singed vanilla and apple wood notes along the way. Shows density and cut through the finish, with a tug of tobacco at the end. This is dialed up to 11.—J.M.

James Molesworth - Wine Spectator - April 2019


Deep purple-black in color, the 2018 Valandraud develops slowly from a base of warm black cherries, blackberry compote and preserved plums with a perfume of sandalwood, Indian spices, lavender, wilted roses, mocha and fruitcake plus wafts of woodsmoke and camphor. Full-bodied, the palate is rich, ripe and flamboyant with tons of opulent black and blue fruit layers, wonderfully curtailed by a firm frame of velvety tannins and fantastic freshness, finishing very long and very seductive.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown - The Wine Advocate, 23rd April 2019


Rich, deep, powerful and hugely persistent, this has tons of juicy black fruits but clearly in the more restrained frame that owner Jean Luc Thunevin has introduced over the past few vintages. It's a brilliant wine, full of personality, keeping its concentration and glamour and just easing towards balance, but still with its signature insouciance. Tasted several times and always delicious, this just pips the excellent 2016 for me. 3% Malbec completes the blend, the first time it's been included in the wine. 40hl/ha yield. 3.6pH. 100% new oak for extended ageing.

Jane Anson - Decanter - April 2019


Deep purple-black in color, the 2018 Valandraud is still sporting a fair bit of oak on the nose, with the cedary notions giving way to a profound core of Black Forest cake, stewed plums and boysenberry preserves, plus suggestions of espresso, clove oil, unsmoked cigars and charcuterie with a waft of Chinese five spice. The full-bodied palate is jam-packed with rich black fruit preserves, framed by sturdy tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long and tinged with exotic spices. It will need a good 5-6 years for everything to marry and for the nuances to be fully expressed, then enjoy it over the next 25+ years.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown - The Wine Advocate, 31 March 2021


The 2018 Valandraud is magnificent. Unctuous and super-concentrated on the palate, the 2018 possesses off the charts richness. Crème de cassis, bittersweet chocolate, hard candy, lavender, menthol, licorice, mint and dark spice all meld together. The 2018 is quite shut down at this stage, which is probably a good thing for its long term prospects. The blend is 90% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Malbec. This is the first time since the early 1990s that Malbec has appeared in the blend. Yields came in at 48 hectoliters per hectare, a touch above the 45 or so that is more customary here.

Antonio Galloni - Vinous - April 2019

Vintage performance