Blanc de Valandraud N°2, AOC/AOP Bordeaux, 2007
Château de Valandraud is not a building, rather a made up name for one of the first St.Emilion garagiste wines, owned by Jean-Luc and Murielle Thunevin. It is made up of small plots, with the first vintage in 1991. Infamous in the 2000 vintage, the Chateau along with that of Michel Rolland at Ch.Fontenil (Fronsac), used plastic between rows to protect against rain close to harvest – the INAO declassified the resulting wines to Vin de France.
This wine: a 50:50 blend of sauvignon blanc with semillon, natural cork closure, 13.5% abv, Averys, £30
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, medium intensity lemon, showing tears.
Nose: clean on the nose, of medium (+) intensity, fully developed, with rich aromas of baked apple, pineapple, over-ripe stone fruits, warm damp hay and a nutty nuance.
Palate: a dry wine, with medium (+) acidity, a low key gummy grip, medium alcohol and a medium (+) body, with a smooth texture, medium intensity, with flavours of overripe apricot, ripe conference pear, unripe pineapple, drying stones (my words for ‘minerality’) and beeswax. A medium length, with a clean stewed orchard fruit finish, ending with a significant bitterness.
Quality: a good quality wine, with fresh acidity in keeping with the alcohol and rich mature flavors. There is little complexity, with nuances evaporating, though with tertiary evolution as baked and nutty notes. There is a modest concentration of flavour, reflected in the modest length. The significant bitterness detracts, and is a little unbalancing.
Readiness for drinking/potential for ageing: this wine is slightly past its best. Colour, richness and grip suggest ageing in second or third use oak. This will have been a higher quality wine when younger, but is starting to fall apart now, with a significant bitterness dominating and unbalancing the overall experience. It should be consumed within a year.