Tasted blind at the Valandraud vertical at the property, the 2012 Valandraud instantly demonstrated the wide gap in quality between itself and the previous vintage. It is a blend of 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc matured for 28 months in 100% new oak. It has a primal and concentrated bouquet with intense blackberry, bilberry and graphite aromas that gain intensity in the glass, and yet remain "strict" and linear. The palate is medium-bodied with brittle tannin that impart a chalky texture. There is plenty of clean and crisp blackberry and raspberry fruit here, pencil lead and a touch of chalk towards the precise and vivid finish. The energy is palpable in this Saint Emilion, a quite stupendous wine from Jean-Luc and Murielle that must stand as one of the best on the Right Bank. This comes strongly recommended, although it still needs plenty of time.