chateau valandraud premier grand cru classe b, saint-emilion grand cru 2020
Winemaker Jean-Luc Thunevin has hit a home run in the vintage, and his 2020 Château Valandraud is unquestionably up with the crème de la crème out there. Made in a ripe, sexy, plush style, it brings an incredible amount of ripe black fruit, chocolate, vanilla, espresso, and leafy herb-like aromas and flavors. This carries to a full-bodied, powerful Saint-Emilion that somehow stays weightless and graceful on the palate, with moderate acidity, ripe tannins, and a great, great finish.
This wine from the premier classé estate is seriously structured, dense and firm. At the same time the beautiful black currant fruits, acidity and fine perfumed character balance its richness. It is an impressive, memorable wine that will develop well over many years.
Wow. This is really super polished with incredible length and intensity, offering blackberries and hazelnuts. Superb richness that is reserved and poised. Great length. Full-bodied, extremely long and exciting.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Opaque purple-black colored, the 2020 Valandraud bursts with scents of crushed black plums, boysenberries and blackberry preserves, followed by hints of dusty soil, garrigue and clove oil. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers a lot of energetic, crunchy black fruits with a lively backbone and beautifully ripe, rounded tannins, finishing long and fragrant. Barrel Sample: 95-97
This is excellent, broad-shouldered with ample depth to the brambled fruits, liquorice, cigar box spice, with a gorgeously saline finish. Chalky, grippy tannins keep tugging you back into the body of the wine. The tannic grip is helped by a linen rather than silk texture that stops things being overly smooth and instead adds depth and interest to the powerfully knitted body, as do white flowers on the aromatics as it opens. Good stuff. 100% new oak for 24 months. A yield of 49hl/ha. Thunevin has sold a 50% stake in Valandraud to the Lefevre family at Sansonnet (also the new owners of Villemaurine, so a busy year for them)
The 2020 Valandraud has a deep purple hue and delivers an intense bouquet of lush blackberry, raspberry, cassis and crushed violet aromas, all beautifully defined. The palate is very well balanced with a sensual opening. This’ll have you smitten from the first sip: silky-smooth with immense depth and harmony. There is tension and precision from start to finish. This 2020 continues a startling run of form by Jean-Luc Thunevin, this representing one of his crowning achievements to date. Chapeau! -Neal Martin