Chateau Valandraud 2018
Tasting Notes Chateau Valandraud 2018
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.