Bright ruby. Perfumed aromas of blackberry, minerals, flowers and fruity pepper. Plush and silky on entry, then savory and primary in the middle, with youthful, slightly inky flavors of blackberry, dark chocolate, espresso and violet. As young as this is, it’s already quite pliant and refined. Finishes with very suave tannins and lovely subtle persistence. Distinctly higher-pitched than Jean-Luc Thunevin’s Virginie de Valandraud, and seemingly much more influenced by calcaire
Robert Parker 91
Tasted with Jean-Luc Thunevin in Saint Emilion, the 2006 Valandraud is pure Merlot, since he told me that the Cabernet Franc had not ripened sufficiently that year. It offers an attractive, matured bouquet with cough candy and star anise infusing the red berry fruit that is beginning to move into its secondary stage. The palate is medium-bodied with slightly coarse tannin compared to more recent vintages, mulberry and tarry notes with a rather stolid finish that needs a little more finesse to come through. Not bad, though I think Jean-Luc has “honed his craft” since this vintage. Tasted March 2016.
Anticipated maturity: 2016-2026
Tasted blind. Still very dark crimson. Some decay on the nose? Then very rich and ripe and slightly tarry on the palate with some liquorice notes. Very dry end. Very demanding of the drinker. Over-extracted.
Anticipated maturity: 2016-2030