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Chateau Quinault l'Enclos (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018

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Winemaker Notes

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 Acclaim

All Vintages
JS 94
James Suckling
This is the best Quinault ever for me with beautiful density and depth of fruit. Full body, velvety tannins and a long and intense finish. Lots of fruit, but the tannins hold it together.
Barrel Sample: 93-94
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
A big, ripe black currant flavor and great acidity meld well in this richly structured and complex wine. It has a fine line of acidity to keep it fresh.
Barrel Sample: 92-94
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
This a very gravelly soil with great drainage, but 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, warm ripening conditions of 2018, coming in at a respectable pH of 3.67 and relatively moderate alcohol of 14.1%. The 2018 Quinault l'Enclos is blended of 70% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc with 50% new oak and the rest in one-year-old barrels—but only 500-liter and foudres. Deep purple-black in color, it slips seductively out of the glass with notions of warm plums, blueberry preserves and mulberries with touches of spice box, tilled soil, black olives and licorice plus a waft of lavender. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is laden with muscular black fruit and licorice sparks, framed by rounded tannins and just enough freshness, finishing with a peppery kick.
Barrel Sample: 92-94
D 94
Decanter

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

JD 94
Jeb Dunnuck

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.

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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.

BTYF520654_2018 Item# 520654