Bordeaux ‘Bad Boy’ Jean-Luc Thunevin, and his wife Murielle Andraud, bought their first plot of unclassified Bordeaux vines in 1989, in Saint-Émillion. Working against the grain, Thunevin aimed for low yields and in 1991 released his first vintage of Chateau Valandraud, one of the world’s first “garage wines”.
Using new oak and favoring extraction, Thunevin rocked the industry in France, not caring what anyone was thinking. Each year, Thunevin increased his production, while Robert Parker fed him points.
In 1995, Chateau Valandraud wine won a 95 rating from Parker, and soon, its wines were out-pricing established Bordeaux classified growths. Coined a “bad boy” and a “black sheep” by Parker, Thunevin crumbled the clos in Bordeaux, home to a very traditional practice. He began as an innovator from off the map, who modeled an alternative for the aspiring garagiste wine producer. A self-coined “modern winemaker”, Jean-Luc now produces six different wines at Chateau Valandraud, but he’s also a Bordeaux négociant for Jean-Luc Thunevin Selections.
As the holder of about 20 properties, including Chateau Valandraud, Virginie de Valandraud, Chateau Bel Air Ouy, Chateau Prieuré Lescours and Clos Badon Thunevin, all of which are Grand Cru vineyards in St Emilion, Jean-Luc represents an additional 25 to 30 properties, mostly located in the area of Bordeaux, especially the Right Bank.