Chateau Quinault l'Enclos 2018
Thanks to the restructuring of the vineyards and the major renovation of the vat room and cellar at Quinault, as well as the meticulous efforts of the Cheval Blanc team, Quinault L'Enclos has affirmed its position as an emerging estate. The 2018 vintage nose displays black fruit aromas of blackberry and cherry, going on to reveal spicy notes such as black pepper and gingerbread, combined with rose and peony overtones. The wine starts out rich and straightforward on the palate, becoming full-bodied and broad-based. It is incredibly smooth and well-balanced thanks to beautiful acidity. The aftertaste is wonderfully long, culminating in a crunchy finish.
Blend: 71.5% Merlot, 14.5% Cabernet Franc, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The estate is surrounded by the suburbs of the city of Libourne and this wine is produced by the team at Chateau Cheval Blanc. That combination has produced a sequence of fine wines, like this release. Rich fruits have been given a sheen of wood aging and crafted tannins to make a wine that will age well. Drink from 2026.
This is pretty powerful. Extremely tight dark fruits right now - quite a change in profile from a decade ago, now showing brambled blackberries and cassis, majoring on Cabernet characteristics. Delicious, savoury and sappy, with crushed mint on the finish. Ageing in 50% new oak (mainly large-format casks). Drinking Window 2026 - 2040
A juicy red with creamy, polished tannins and attractive blackberry, blackcurrant, wet-earth and bark flavors. Rich finish. Needs time to come together, but already very attractive. Try after 2024.
Quinault l'Enclos comes from off a very gravelly soil with great drainage, but there's not a lot of water during dry periods. Adeptly produced by the team of Cheval Blanc (who purchased the estate in 2008), the wine nonetheless maintained its poise under the dry and warm ripening conditions of 2018, relatively moderate alcohol of 14.1%. The 2018 Quinault l'Enclos has a deep garnet-purple color and beautifully expressed notes of baked black cherries, ripe black plums and boysenberries, plus hints of violets, dark chocolate, star anise and tobacco leaf. The medium-bodied palate has a gorgeous velvety texture and oodles of freshness supporting the perfumed black fruits, finishing long and fragrant. This vintage is a blend of 70% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc, aged in 50% new oak and the rest in one-year-old 500-liter barrels and foudres. Rating: 93+
Coming from a walled vineyard near the town of Libourne, the 2018 Château Quinault L'Enclos reveals a dense ruby/purple color to go with lots of earthy red and black currant fruits, truffle, leather, camphor, and bouquet garni-like nuances. Rich, full-bodied, and beautifully textured, it needs plenty of air to show at its best, so don't be afraid to give bottles a healthy decant if drinking any time soon. It should have two decades of overall longevity.
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.
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. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.