Bordeaux ’Bad Boy’ Jean-Luc Thunevin, and his wife Murielle Andraud, bought their first plot of unclassified Bordeaux vines in 1989, in Saint-Emillion. Working against the grain, Thunevin aimed for low yields and in 1991 released his first vintage of Chateau Valandraud, one of the world’s first ”garage wines”. In 1995, Chateau Valandraud wine won a 95 rating from Parker, and soon, its wines were out-pricing established Bordeaux classified growths. Coined a ”bad boy” and a ”black sheep” by Parker, Thunevin crumbled the clos in Bordeaux, home to a very traditional practice. He began as an off-the-grid innovator, who modeled an alternative for the aspiring garagiste vintner. A self-coined ”modern winemaker”, Jean-Luc now produces six different wines at Chateau Valandraud, but he’s also a Bordeaux negociant for Jean-Luc Thunevin Selections. Preferring natural wine production, Jean-Luc favors commitments over labels, such as using no herbicides or insecticides, and employing cover crops. His entire company policy is based on the environment, including social policies and high-standard working conditions for employees.
Virgine de Valandraud is a second label to Château Valandraud. This beautiful white wine is grown in a bed of clay rich soil over limestone, and is fermented in stainless steel and then aged for 10 to 12 months in 20% new oak with the rest in second and third use barrels.
Chateau Valandraud Virginie de Valandraud Saint-Emilion Grand Cru is at once fresh and mellow, this is a prototypical St.-Emilion with plenty of depth and ripe blackberry fruit. Very satisfying now or in 2019 and 2020.