This has a display of drop-dead gorgeous raspberry, boysenberry and blackberry confiture flavors unfurling from its core, backed by flamboyant anise and black tea notes. It's rich, polished and seriously long. And then there's a light twinge of chalky finesse at the very, very end to keep it grounded.
96-99 points, James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (2017)
Fantastic core of dark fruit with blackberries, blueberries, licorice and crushed stones. Full body, beautifully polished tannins and a long and energetic finish. Pinpoint. Superb.
97-98 points, James Suckling (Apr 2017)
The wine is ripe and opulent, packed with great fruit and a solid core of tannins. It is superbly structured, yet fruity, with both firm tannins and ample acidity assuring its future. It is a fine wine for the long term.
96-98 points, Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast (2017)
The 2016 Chateau Valandraud is a blend of 10% Cabernet Franc and 90% Merlot picked between 5 October to 15 October for the last Cabernet Franc, delivering 14.5% alcohol, less than in 2015. It has a very mineral-driven bouquet thanks to the limestone soils (please refer to the January 2017 issue of Wine Advocate where I examine the terroir of Valandraud). The palate is succulent on the entry with fine tannin, crisp and focused with superb definition, a little more finesse than the 2015 last year with a slightly confit-like finish that grips the mouth. It will require five or six years to really mellow and shave off those edges, but this will be a seductive 2016 from Jean-Luc Thunevin.
95-97 points, Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (Issue # 230 - Apr 2017)
The 2016 Valandraud is fabulous. Rich, exotic and plush on the palate, it exudes raciness in all of its dimensions. Sweet toasted oak, crème de cassis, raspberry jam, spice and floral notes all run through the 2016. Even with all of its richness, it remains light on its feet for such a big wine, especially as it opens up in the glass. There is plenty of depth and concentration, that is for sure, but the 2016 also retains freshness as well as energy, with a good deal of tannin underpinning the fruit. Quite simply, this is a stellar Valandraud.
94-97 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous (Apr 2017)