Farr Vintners Logo

Valandraud 2009

Tasting Notes

An inky/purple wine with an extraordinary nose of black raspberries, blueberries, acacia flowers, licorice and camphor, it is full-bodied, multi-dimensional and layered, with silky tannins, stunning purity, and a finish of 50+ seconds. This is an opulent, sexy, sumptuous style of wine to drink over the next 15 or more years. Kudos to Jean-Luc Thunevin and Murielle!

One of the all-time great wines from Jean-Luc Thunevin and his partner Murielle Andraud, the 2009 Valandraud represents 13,000 bottles, with most of it coming from vineyard parcels near the sector of St.-Emilion known as St.-Christophe des Bardes.

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, March 2012

The 2009 Valandraud has a ripe and opulent bouquet with precocious red fruit, fig and rose petals, a little warmth of alcohol blurring the edges and becoming more tarry with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent plush, saturated tannin. This is sleek and modern in style, heady and concentrated with a decadent finish. It conveys a sense of purity. The bottle tasted in 2017 showed a tad more precision on the finish. Tasted blind at Farr Vintners’ 2009 Bordeaux tasting. 2021 - 2035

Neal Martin, vinous.com, March 2019

What a nose to this young red, showing crushed blueberry and blackberry, with black licorice as well. Full-bodied, with supersilky tannins and a racy and beautiful finish.

James Suckling, WineSpectator.com, April 2010

Deep garnet colored, the 2009 Valandraud is truly strutting its stuff right now with a bold, flamboyant nose of Black Forest cake, molten licorice, blackberry preserves and baked plums plus touches of kirsch, candied violets, star anise, unsmoked cigars, incense and a compelling waft of smoked meats. Full-bodied, the palate is a pedal-to-the-metal, fruit-n-spice blockbuster with a full-on sexy texture of beautifully plush, rounded tannins and tons of freshness to lift the very long, very perfumed finish. 2019-2040

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (March 2019), March 2019

Very deep crimson. Rich and round and a little tarry on the nose. Very sweet and round and flashy. Dramatic and alive with lots of electricity in the wine. Dry on the finish but not excessively so. Dances a bit and is very lively as well as managing to be quite supple. Just 10% Cabernet Franc, pH 3.5, < 14% apparently. Date tasted 30th March 2010. Drink 2016-2029.

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2010

Racy and beautifully defined, with a sleek graphite frame to the mouthwatering loganberry, blackberry and linzer torte flavors. Shows lots of toasted spice on the finish, but is well-integrated, with a gorgeous mouthfeel. This has ample fruit, but remains very suave. Best from 2013 through 2025.-J.M.

James Molesworth, Wine Spectator Insider (Vol 8, 3), January 2012

Given its status as the leading 'garage' wine of the Right Bank, you might expect Valandraud to have produced a super-charged St Emilion in 2009. But you'd be wrong. Muriel Thunevin's wine is silky and ripe, but with fresh acidity and delightful poise. The 15,000 bottles will sell out quickly, and they deserve to, because this is one of the best wines in the appellation. 10+ years.

Tim Atkin MW, April 2010

The best Valandraud ever. Rich and concentrated but measured. Ripe, fresh, red-berry fruit aromas and flavour. Almost Burgundian in nuance. Palate suave, succulent, harmonious and poised. Remarkable finesse. Potential to age. Drink 2015-2028.

James Lawther MW, Decanter.com, April 2010
Read more tasting notes...

Bad boy Jean-Luc Thunevin has possibly produced the finest Valandraud since his debut vintage in 1992. A blend of 65% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and a tiny shot of Carmenere, the wine has an opaque purple color and a beautiful nose of spring flowers, creme de cassis, blueberry, charcoal, and a hint of espresso. A seamless, full-bodied mouthfeel, striking purity, a skyscraper-like texture, freshness, and precision make for the most complex and noble, as well as most concentrated and massive Valandraud to date. This wine should drink beautifully for 25 or more years. Kudos to St.-Emilion's patron saint of garage wines. (Tasted two times.) Drink 2010-2035.

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (188), April 2010

Tasted at Ets. Thunevin. Deep, limpid purple colour. It has a dense, ripe, opulent bouquet of black cherries, bilberry, black plum, honey and violets that spirals from the glass. The palate has a thick, chewy entry, huge weight in the mouth, but there is a counter-balancing citrus freshness, with fresh apricot and star fruit suffused into the pure red-berry fruit, a hint of liquorice curled like a snake around the finish. Very dense to the point of being impenetrable at the moment but at least there is no astringency on the finish and despite the opulence, the minerality comes through on the finish. Superb. Tasted March 2010.

Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, April 2010
Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.