CHÂTEAU VALANDRAUD

2020 Grand Cru Saint Emilion

EN PRIMEUR

Market Insight: The 2019 was a strong release for Valandraud, especially if it rates at the top of the score bracket. With the 2010 being similar quality and now trading at £1,250/6+, the 2020 will be a very sensible buy if it repeats, or even rises a degree.L&S (May 2021)

In Bond

75cl bottles (wood case of 6)

* This is a pre-shipment/primeur offer. All orders are accepted under the TERMS of this offer which differ from the terms of the rest of the site.

This is a massive wine with immense extraction and equally terrifying oak. The flavour is almost Amarone-sized and so if you love massive, searingly tannic wines then you will love this. For my part, this is a too-much-in-every-direction wine and while this style of CGI Saint-Émilion might appeal to some, I have never managed to acquire the taste. Rating: 17++ Matthew Jukes www.matthewjukes.com (Jun 2021)

The 2020 Valandraud is impressive. Inky, deep and exquisitely layered, it possesses tremendous richness in every dimension. crème de cassis, chocolate, licorice, new leather, spice and lavender build as the 2020 gains volume in the glass. Silky and plush, with magnificent balance, this is shaping up to be one of the wines of the year. A magnificent effort from Muriel Andraud and Jean-Luc Thunevin. Superb. Tasted two times. Drinking range: 2034 - 2050 Rating: 95-97 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com (Jun 2021)

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! Drinking range: 2027 - 2050 Rating: 95-97 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (May 2021)

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. Rating: 97-99 Jeb Dunnuck, www.jebdunnuck.com (May 2021)

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). Drinking range: 2029 - 2046 Rating: 96 Jane Anson, Decanter (May 2021)

90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. Lustrous blackish purple. Strong nose of charred meat. This is distinctive all right… Very intense, concentrated sweet purple-fruit flavours. Cassis compote? Chock-full of ambition though the acidity on the finish makes it a less comfortable drink than many of its peers. It seems all scrunched up with ambition with a rather drying finish. It may well flower beautifully eventually but it's at a much more embryonic phase than many of its peers. Rather Pavie-ish at this point. 15.5% Drinking range: 2030 - 2048 Rating: 16.5+ Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.com (Apr 2021)

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. Rating: 97-98 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com (Apr 2021)

Among the garagiste wineries of the 1990’s, none was more garagiste than Château Valandraud. When Jean-Luc Thunevin and his wife Murielle bought a couple of tiny plots of wines in 1989, the only place they had to make their wine was in a garage in the back streets of St Emilion village. The better of the two plots was 0.6ha just outside the village squashed between Pavie-Macquin and Le Clotte in a little valley called the Vallon de Fongaban – tacking the “Val” from Vallon on to Murielle’s maiden name – Andraud – they came up with the name Valandraud. Necessity as much as thirst for quality meant that practically everything was done meticulously by hand. The first release was in 1991. The 1992 was released at First Growth kinds of prices, which turned heads and set Château Valandraud on the path to cult status. Gradually more vineyard has been purchased including the previously obscure Château Bel-Air-Ouÿ in Saint-Etienne-de-Lisse, way out east near the border with the Côtes de Castillon, meaning Château Valandraud now has a château. With the purchase of Bel-Air-Ouÿ, it is interesting to note that the majority of this undoubtedly great estate’s vineyards lie far outside the established area of the St Emilion plateau. Valandraud’s meteoric rise was crowned by its elevation from nowhere to Premier Grand Cru Classé (B) status in the 2012 St Emilion classification, and few would bet against the B being turned into an A if St Emilion can bear the turmoil of a further classification in the future. The vineyards are around 70% Merlot, with anything from 65% to 100% going into the main cuvée. Most of the rest of the vineyards are Cabernet Franc, but there are smaller plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Carmenère. The wine is aged in 100% new oak. There are, also, around 2ha of vineyard dedicated to white wine production. Aside from Château Valandraud, there is Virginie de Valandraud which is often described as the second wine of the estate but Thunevin insist it is more of an alternative cuvée with Le 3 de Valandraud being the actual second wine.

Please make sure that you have read the terms of this offer which are different from those on the main website. If you are unclear as to what is involved in primeur purchases please do contact our private client team via email or on 0207 221 1982.

Ordering

Prices are all in bond by the case size stated.

Pre-Orders are a firm commitment to buy wines on release, as long as the release price sits within the upper and lower price bands set by you on the pre-order form. Pre-orders will be fulfilled subject to availability but providing this firm commitment to buy effectively gives you priority and is a good idea for the most desirable wines.

Wines listed on the website can be ordered in the usual way via the website wishlist order form. You can also send orders directly to our private client team via email. Please note that, for the most sought after wines, priority will be given to those who ordered the same wines last year and to those that have pre-ordered.

Confirmation

All orders will be confirmed by email and are binding unless written cancellation is received within seven days of email confirmation. Pre-orders are not binding if the release price is above your upper price band.

Invoices are all raised at the in bond price (excluding any duty and VAT) which will become payable at the prevailing rates when the wines arrive in the UK, should you wish to take duty paid delivery.

Payment is required on sight of invoice, by cash, cheque, debit card or bank transfer. We regret we cannot accept credit cards for en primeur orders. We reserve the right to apply a dunning charge of 2% per month on invoices unpaid after 30 days.

Delivery

  • Shipment to our bond (at LCB Creek Road) and insurance are included in the in bond price.
  • Delivery is free to Lea and Sandeman / Elephant storage accounts, both duty paid and in bond.
  • Other deliveries (In Bond and Duty Paid) are also free subject to a minimum order from the offer of £500. Orders below this total will be charged an administration and handling fee of £16.50+ VAT when invoices are issued. We will group deliveries and this is a charge for your entire purchases, not a per-case charge.
  • Delivery of 2020 Bordeaux bought en primeur is expected during 2023. Delivery dates may vary as wines are shipped from Bordeaux at different times.
  • We do not anticipate any problems but please be aware that delays to delivery may occur should Britain's possible departure from the European Union result in additional border customs checks or other regulatory requirements. Any additional or unforeseen duties, tariffs, charges or other financial liabilities relating to 'Brexit' must be due to the customer and will be invoiced as required.

Practical notes - how it works

We start a sale in each customer's name and add all their primeur orders to one sale which is invoiced at the end of the campaign (or when the customer wishes). Immediate payment of invoices is then required by cash, cheque, debit card or bank transfer. We and our customers find that having a single invoice for the vintage is the simpler option but please note that confirmed orders are still binding even if the final invoice has not yet been issued.

Please specify on your wishlist order form where you would like the wines shipped on arrival in the UK. If this is to a third-party bonded warehouse, please specify the relevant account details. If the wines are required duty-paid we will issue a second invoice for duty and VAT at the prevailing rate when the wines are available for delivery.

Half-bottles, Magnums and larger bottles.

One of the additional advantages of buying en primeur is being able to order the wine in the format you want. While most of our listings are for 75cl bottles, we can source wines in any format if offered by the Château. Please note that format requests cannot be changed once wines have been invoiced. Additional charges for special formats do apply and are as follows:-

  • +£20 per case of 24 half-bottles
  • +£10 per case of 6 Magnums (2 bottles equivalent, 1.5 litres each)
  • +£35 per individually boxed Double Magnum (4 bottles equivalent, 3 litres)
  • +£50 per individually boxed Imperial (8 bottles equivalent, 6 litres) for Salmanazars, Balthazars, Nebuchadnezzars and Melchiors please enquire for availability and price.

Storage Options:

Wines bought en primeur won't arrive in the UK until 2023. If you do not wish to take home delivery at that point, you may wish to consider where you would like the wines shipped. Lea & Sandeman offers duty paid and in bond storage through a dedicated storage company called Elephant Storage. For more details on the terms and fees associated with storage please go to our Storage Homepage or contact our private client team for more information.