Chateau Quinault l'Enclos (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018
Blend: 71.5% Merlot, 14.5% Cabernet Franc, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Barrel Sample: 93-94
Barrel Sample: 92-94
Barrel Sample: 92-94
The shape of this wine is really beginning to come into focus. It has great balance with precision and elegance. Pristine blue fruits and floral touches linger through the palate.
There's a higher Cabernet content than usual here, as the replantings have come on line. Picking began on 10 September, making it among the earliest estates in St-Emilion. This early-ripening terroir also helped to avoid too many issues with mildew, because flowering was complete before it arrived. Consequently, the estate enjoyed a 40hl/ha yield. One to watch. 50% new oak. Drinking Window 2026 - 2040. Barrel Sample: 94
Coming from the team at Cheval Blanc and up with the finest vintages I’ve tasted of this cuvée, the 2018 Château Quinault L'Enclos comes from a vineyard near Libourne and is 70% Merlot and 15% each of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s an elegant, silky wine that has terrific complexity and purity as well as medium to full-bodied richness, a concentrated mid-palate, moderate tannins, and an overall balanced, silky style that’s going to drink nicely in its youth yet also evolve gracefully. Barrel Sample: 92-94.
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.