JAMES SUCKLING: "Full-bodied with a silky yet very firm and broad tannin structure. Lots of ripe, cool blue-fruit and stone character. Red tea, too. Textured. Well balanced and focused for the vintage. Lovely length."
JEB DUNNUCK: "The Grand Vin 2021 Château Valandraud checks in as 85% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon, and it's still resting all in new barrels. Deep purple-hued, with rocking bouquet of ripe black and blue fruits, chocolate, spicy oak, and spring flowers, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, velvety, ripe tannins, terrific mid-palate depth, and one heck of an impressive finish. Despite the new barrels, this wine leads with its fruit, has everything in the right places, and delivers notable freshness as well as a great finish. I'd put it up with any of the top wines out there."
WEINWISSER: "85 % Merlot, 9 % Cabernet Franc, 6 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 30 hl/ha, pH 3.5, 13.5 Vol.-%, 100% neue Barriques. Dicht verwobenes Bouquet, frische Schattenmorelle, Holundergelee und betörendes Veilchenparfüm. Im zweiten Ansatz Lakritze, erkalteter Waldfrüchtetee und zarte Mineralik. Am konzentrierten Gaumen mit einer ungeheuren Souplesse, einer Textur wie Samt und Seide, betörender Extraktfülle, alles ist hier am richtigen Platz, ein perfekt geformter Modellathlet. Im gebündelten nicht enden wollenden Finale ein Feuerwerk von blauen Beeren, tiefschürfende Mineralik, beeindruckende Präzision und Tiefe, die dieser Wein besitzt, war nicht zu erwarten."
DECANTER: "A rich and hedonistic nose full of perfumed black fruits that are so beguiling. Smooth, supple and generous on the palate in every way - tannins are present and mouthfilling but do well to give the blackcurrant and black cherry frame in the mouth. The fruit has quite a high tone to it, stopping short of being sharp but really vibrant with sparky edges from the acidity and liquorice, clove, toasted wood and cinnamon spice. It's characterful with lots going on - well presented with elegance and a cool freshness throughout. It's the detail that is just so excellent here. It's still got a lot of youthful excitement but this has beautiful intention, direction and understated power. A bold and more hefty style for the vintage with clear confidence."
THE WINE CELLAR INSIDER: "Put your nose in the glass and smell all the chocolate, espresso, black plums, black raspberry, licorice and wet earth. Deep garnet in color, the wine is plush, polished, silky and loaded with sweet, dark, ripe, lusciously-textured red fruits. The wine blends 85% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon. 13.5% ABV, pH 3.5. The harvest took place October 3 - October 15. drink from 2025-2048."
THE WINE ADVOCATE: "Opening in the glass with inviting aromas of dark berries, baking chocolate, exotic spices and vanilla pod, the 2021 Valandraud is a medium to full-bodied, ample and fleshy wine that's seamless and layered, exhibiting impressive concentration, beautifully ripe tannins and a long, succulent finish. Bursting with fruit, this is an especially elegant Valandraud, with below-average alcohol at 13.5%, but it doesn't lack for anything. Tasted four times, twice at the château."
FALSTAFF: "Tiefdunkles Rubingranat, violette Reflexe, zarte Randaufhellung. Feine Edelholznuancen, ein Hauch von Zeder, schwarze Beeren, reife Kirschen, einladendes Bukett. Saftig, frische Brombeeren, etwas Lakritze, frischer Säurebogen, ein Hauch von Kokos und Vanille, mineralischer Nachhall, zeigt Finesse, verfügt über Potenzial."
LISA PERROTTI-BROWN: "The 2021 Valandraud is made from 85% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, harvested from 3 to 15 October from 30-year-old vines planted on clay-limestone. It is aging in 100% new oak for 18-24 months. Deep garnet-purple colored, it slowly emerges from the glass with profound scents of stewed black plums, juicy blackberries, and raspberry leaves, plus hints of Indian spices, stewed tea, and licorice with a waft of unsmoked cigars. Medium-bodied, the palate is packed with tightly wound black fruit and exotic spices flavors, framed by firm, grainy tannins and beautifully knit freshness, finishing with great length. pH 3.5."
Chateau Valandraud, 33330 Saint-Étienne-de-Lisse, Frankreich