Virginie de Valandraud
Classification: Grand Cru
Virginie de Valandraud is not the second wine of Jean-Luc Thunevin's Château Valandraud (promoted to Frist Growth (Premier Grand Cru Classe B in 2012) but stands as an individual wine made from its own designated vineyard. It takes its name from Jean-Luc and Murielle's daughter: Virginie. Jean-Luc Thunevin has pioneered the Vins de Garage movement and gave rise to the term by originally setting up his tiny winery in his garage at Saint Emilion in 1989.
Château Valandraud takes its name from “val”, meaning a dale or glen (for the Val of Fongaban) and Andraud, Madame Thunevin's maiden name. The tiny Château Valandraud lies near Châteaux Pavie Macquin, Ausone and La Clotte with further plots in Saint Sulpice de Faleyrens and Saint Etienne de Lisse. The Thunevins were successful restaurateurs in Saint Emilion, running one of the first "bar à vins", and a small négotiant business specializing in rare and old vintages. Their dream of making their own wine meant that they had to purchase land and vines plot by plot. Their dedication paid off and now Château Valandraud and Virginie de Valandraud are highly sought after and achieve top scores from wine critics thanks to the meticulous work of the Thunevins. Jean-Luc has become one of the most influential consultants in Bordeaux.
The 11 acres of vineyard lie on clayey limestone sands and gravels with some crasse de fer (iron slag). The grapes planted are 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc and are from 30 year old vines. Both the vineyards and the wine making process are highly labour intensive with the intent to drive quality forwards. All winery operation are manual to avoid bruising the grapes – each bunch is de stemmed by hand.
Virginie de Valandraud's wines are rich and full flavoured, achieving high scores from wine critics and connoisseurs alike. They have notes of ripe blueberries, blackcurrants, vanilla and dark chocolate. They are well balanced, velvety and age well.
Owner: Jean-Luc & Murielle Thunevin (also own Châteaux Bel Air Ouÿ, Prieuré Lescours and Clos Badon Thunevin and Domaine Calvet Thunevin)
Château Website: www.thunevin.com
Oenologist: M Rolland / J-P Faure