Red, For laying down

2012 Ch. Quinault l'Enclos, St. Emilion

2012 Ch. Quinault l'Enclos, St. Emilion

Red | For laying down | Chateau Quinault l'Enclos | Code:  19827 | 2012 | France > Bordeaux > St-Emilion | Cab.Sauvignon Blend | Medium Bodied, Dry | 13.5 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

DECANTER

16.5/100

JANCIS

17.5/20

PARKER

87-89/100

WS

90-93/100

WA

88/100

DECANTER - Change in style under new ownership (Cheval Blanc) now more evident. Less extracted but full, round and fresh. Fine tannins.
James Lawther MW, Decanter, April 2013

JANCIS - Deep crimson. Lovely fruit sweetness, almost red fruited. Deliciously rich without weight. Very pure fruit and thick silky tannins. Very fresh too. Lively and juicy but not in the least simple. Very fine fresh ripeness. A step up in quality from 2011.
Julia Harding MW, jancisrobinson.com, 26 Apr 2013

PARKER - The wine reveals a bright, flowery, berry fruitiness with hints of roasted herbs, damp earth, raspberries and cherries. Surprisingly, the alcohol hit 14% in this medium-bodied blend of 80% Merlot and the rest mostly Cabernet Franc. Yields were extremely tiny, only 23 hectoliters per hectare because of the poor flowering in spring. This offering may put on a little weight as its mid-palate needs to fill out, but it is an elegant, attractive example of Quinault. It will require consumption during its first 10-12 years of life.

The harvest at this enclosed vineyard in the city of Libourne took place between September 15 and October 3.
Robert Parker - Wine Advocate - Apr 2013

WS - Very focused, with a taut, sinewy frame and good stuffing, delivering plum paste and raspberry pâte de fruit notes at the core. A long tug of earth runs through the finish. Solidly built. Tasted non-blind.
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, April 8 2013

WA - This property, discovered and resurrected by Dr. Alain Raynaud, was acquired by Chateau Cheval Blanc and with a few refinements as well as a label change, the quality of the terroir (within the city limits of Libourne) continues to impress. Richly fruity, spicy and earthy, with attractive black cherry and currant fruit, this medium-bodied wine has soft tannins and seems ideal for drinking over the next 7-10 years.
Robert M. Parker, Jr. - 30/04/2015

The Producer

Chateau Quinault l'Enclos

Chateau Quinault l'Enclos

Château Quinault l'Enclos is now unquestionably one of the star estates in St-Emilion. It is a St-Emilion Grand Cru property and is owned by Dr Alain Raynaud and his wife Françoise with cult oenologists, Michel Rolland and Denis Dubourdieu, acting as consultants. Quinault l'Enclos's spanking new cuverie and chai are located in the heart of the town of Libourne with the 18-hectare vineyard being very close to the Pomerol boundary.

The average age of the vines is high (60-70 years) and the wine is now a blend of 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Quinault l'Enclos is matured in 100% new oak barrels for 18 months and is bottled unfined and unfiltered.

The Grape

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.

In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and  Australia.

The Region

St-Emilion

St-Emilion

St Emilion is one of Bordeaux's largest producing appellations, producing more wine than Listrac, Moulis, St Estèphe, Pauillac, St Julien and Margaux put together. St Emilion has been producing wine for longer than the Médoc but its lack of accessibility to Bordeaux's port and market-restricted exports to mainland Europe meant the region initially did not enjoy the commercial success that funded the great châteaux of the Left Bank. 

St Emilion itself is the prettiest of Bordeaux's wine towns, perched on top of the steep limestone slopes upon which many of the region's finest vineyards are situated. However, more than half of the appellation's vineyards lie on the plain between the town and the Dordogne River on sandy, alluvial soils with a sprinkling of gravel. 

Further diversity is added by a small, complex gravel bed to the north-east of the region on the border with Pomerol.  Atypically for St Emilion, this allows Cabernet Franc and, to a lesser extent, Cabernet Sauvignon to prosper and defines the personality of the great wines such as Ch. Cheval Blanc.  

In the early 1990s there was an explosion of experimentation and evolution, leading to the rise of the garagistes, producers of deeply-concentrated wines made in very small quantities and offered at high prices.  The appellation is also surrounded by four satellite appellations, Montagne, Lussac, Puisseguin and St. Georges, which enjoy a family similarity but not the complexity of the best wines.

St Emilion was first officially classified in 1954, and is the most meritocratic classification system in Bordeaux, as it is regularly amended. The most recent revision of the classification was in 2012

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