We recently had the visit of Izak Litwar to taste the last 4 vintages of Valandraud. Here are the comments he posted on Mark Squire's Bulletin Board :
"On Monday the 12th October I took a train from Libourne to St.Emilion and my first stay was at the tasting room below the office of Jean-Luc Thunevin. But during my walk from the station a car stopped and Alain Vauthier from Ausone got out. I met him first time at Ausone in 1984!
He told me that he was extremely happy with 2009 vintage and that they will finish small parcel of C.S. next day. According to him there weren't any problems with fermentation at his other estates and that fermentation at Ausone will start very soon.
Since 2007 vintage is it Murielle who's responsible for the harvest at all estates. You can say woman touch. In 2009 vintage potential alcohol in grapes is about one degree higher than in 2005 vintage. Concerning pH - it's 3.6 and lower than in 2005. Jean-Luc thinks that 2009 is combination of 2005 richness and 1989 style. Harvest was at that time not finished for Cabernet.
I tasted Valandraud in vintages 2008, 2007, 2006 and 2005.
2008 was as impressive as during primeur - perfectly ripe fruit, strong backbone, splendid concentration, depth, balance and length. Formidable wine.
2007 looked like a great success for the vintage with pretty nice fruit maturity, fine length and balance, quite intense with fine aromas of red berries on the nose.
2006 followed closely after 2008 with as strong attitude, chewy, complex and pretty well concentrated. Seemed to get out very well from the grip of oak and tannin. Another great success of the vintage.
2005 was quickly on the way to close totally down but let me just taste the fabulous richness and this outstanding maturity of wild black cherries. Exceptional stuff!"