||Tasted blind at the Valandraud vertical at the property, the 2006 Valandraud was the first of two vintages that were 100% Merlot (the other being 2007). It was matured in 100% new oak for 21 months. It has a deep garnet core with just a little turbidity. The bouquet is very refined, quite forward for a 2006 with raspberry coulis, crushed strawberry, dried honey and violet scents that unfurl in the glass. That cough candy signature appears only after a few minutes aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with supple ripe red berry fruit. It is not as concentrated as the 2006 Troplong Mondot poured alongside, but there are plenty of attractive, saline black fruit infused with tobacco and spice box, with just a mellow and harmonious finish.