When Jean-Luc Thunevin, master garagiste and creator of Saint-Emilion Château Valandraud, gets his hands on making a branded Bordeaux wine, it's worth taking notice. And this Merlot-dominated wine, distributed jointly with Bordeaux négociant Calvet, is the sort of wine that simple Bordeaux should taste like. It is smooth, ripe, concentrated, packed with red berries and attractive, forward fruit flavors, and yet with just the right layer of tannin to make a fine food partner. There is nothing complicated—leave that to the grand châteaux. This is just a great drink.
Roger Voss covers Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, the Loire and South-West France as well as Portugal. His passion is matching food with wine, bringing the pleasures of the table to wine lovers. He has written six books on wine and food, and was previously national correspondent on wine for the London Daily Telegraph. He is based in the Bordeaux region.