"The energy is palpable in this Saint Emilion, a quite stupendous wine from Jean-Luc and Murielle that must stand as one of the best on the Right Bank.”
–Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate
Located in the Right Bank of Bordeaux, Château de Valandraud is an estate that formed in the late 1980s by wine merchant Jean-Luc Thunevin and Murielle Andraud after purchasing a 1.5-acre plot in Saint-Émilion. After forming their own label of wine, they decided on the name Valandraud as homage to the Vallon de Fongaban, where most of the vines are planted, and Murielle’s last name, who has subsequently been the winemaker for the last decade. The winery was classified in the 2012 Saint-Émilion Classification as Premier Grand Crus Classe B and their portfolio is comprised of Merlot-dominant reds as well as whites made from Savignon Blanc and Semillion. Château de Valandraud is also, interestingly, thought to be one of Bordeaux’s first ‘garagiste’ wineries who began making rich and more internationally acclaimed blends from very early on, so much that Jean-Luc has earned the nickname as the Bad Boy of Saint-Émilion. In 2002, the winery gained media attention for lining the vineyards with plastic sheets to prevent potential water damage from the forecasted rain during the harvest months. Because of this, the wines were declassified to Vin de Table and the original names couldn’t be used on the bottles. Because such small amounts of Valandraud wines are produced, bottles can be extremely difficult to find. Jean-Luc is a thriving consultant for several wineries across both banks of Bordeaux and his wines continue to receive high praise.
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