Wine Of The Week: Château Valandraud Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2020

A high-quality red Bordeaux blend from an outstanding French winemaker.

Credit: Chateau Valandraud

Located in the Saint-Émilion wine region of Southwest France, Muriel Andraud and Jean-Luck Thunevin have created something truly special with their Château Valandraud winery. The brand was initially something of a basement project — picking grapes from their favorite producers, making wines they really liked, and selling them in smaller quantities.

But as the Chateau has grown over the past 30 years, it’s become one of the most promising and exciting vineyards in Saint-Émilion. (And they’re currently putting the finishing touches on a beautiful new winery and hospitality suites.)

Over the last few years, the vineyard has been pursuing more sustainable initiatives to lengthen their lifespan in Bordeaux, like walls painted with natural chalk to retain purity and a geothermal and solar-powered, partially-subterranean winery.

2020’s grand cru offerings are polished and poised. Comprised of 40% merlot, 6% cabernet franc and remaining cabernet sauvignon, the Chateau’s premiere wine is redolent of chocolate, lavender, sage, and pine needle — inky, deep, and elegant. $159

Kate Dingwall is a WSET-trained sommelier and spirits writer. Her work has appeared in Wine Enthusiast, Eater,, and Food & Wine, and she pours wine at one of Canada’s top restaurants.