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Chateau Quinault l'Enclos 2016

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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
This was the first vintage that technical director Pierre-Olivier Clouet started to exclusively use 500-liter barrels for Quinault l'Enclos, decreasing the surface area to which the wines are exposed and, ultimately, the impact of the oak. The percentage of new oak is around 50%, and the blend is 68% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Cabernet Franc. Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Quinault l'Enclos opens with expressive redcurrants, black raspberries and black cherries scents with savory suggestions of tapenade, dried herbs and tobacco plus a waft of cloves. Medium-bodied, the palate is fantastically bright and lively with loads of red fruit accents and a firm frame of grainy tannins, finishing on an earthy note.
JS 92
James Suckling
A juicy and very elegant Quinault, showing hazelnut, dark-berry and cedar character. Medium body, with a lovely, fine-tannin texture and a delicious finish. Drink after 2022.
JD 92
Jeb Dunnuck
Another fresh, pretty wine from the team at Cheval Blanc, the 2016 Château Quinault l'Enclos has nuanced notes of black cherries, blackberries, leafy herbs, and saddle leather. Medium to full-bodied, beautifully balanced and seamless on the palate, with terrific purity, it will benefit from just a handful of years in the cellar.
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
This smooth wine is still lightly woody but has great fruit that will shine strongly over the next months. Juicy black-currant flavors are right up front, giving freshness to this attractive, fruity wine. It will be ready to drink from 2022.
D 90
Decanter
'A vintage forged in the extremes', they say poetically here. This has an unforced, fresh style, with fairly closed dark fruits but riven through with finesse. A touch short, but pleasurable drinking.
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Chateau Quinault l'Enclos

Chateau Quinault l'Enclos

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Chateau Quinault l'Enclos, France
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Located in the heart of Libourne, this chateau has a history dating back to the Roman Era. Today, the average age of the vineyard is 45 years old, with the oldest vines in production since 1934. The age of the vines lends to a very interesting genetic heritage and highly complex grapes. In the winery, this translates to terrior driven wines with great character.
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St-Émilion

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Marked by its historic fortified village—perhaps the prettiest in all of Bordeaux, the St-Émilion appellation, along with its neighboring village of Pomerol, are leaders in quality on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. These Merlot-dominant red wines (complemented by various amounts of Cabernet Franc and/or Cabernet Sauvignon) remain some of the most admired and collected wines of the world.

St-Émilion has the longest history in wine production in Bordeaux—longer than the Left Bank—dating back to an 8th century monk named Saint Émilion who became a hermit in one of the many limestone caves scattered throughout the area.

Today St-Émilion is made up of hundreds of independent farmers dedicated to the same thing: growing Merlot and Cabernet Franc (and tiny amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon). While always roughly the same blend, the wines of St-Émilion vary considerably depending on the soil upon which they are grown—and the soils do vary considerably throughout the region.

The chateaux with the highest classification (Premier Grand Cru Classés) are on gravel-rich soils or steep, clay-limestone hillsides. There are only four given the highest rank, called Premier Grand Cru Classés A (Chateau Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Angélus, Pavie) and 14 are Premier Grand Cru Classés B. Much of the rest of the vineyards in the appellation are on flatter land where the soils are a mix of gravel, sand and alluvial matter.

Great wines from St-Émilion will be deep in color, and might have characteristics of blackberry liqueur, black raspberry, licorice, chocolate, grilled meat, earth or truffles. They will be bold, layered and lush.

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Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

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