CHÂTEAU QUINAULT L'ENCLOS

2011 Saint Emilion

Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Sub-district Saint Emilion & Satellites
Village Saint Emilion

Bought by Cheval Blanc in 2008, Quinault had already quite a reputation under the stewardship of Dr Alain Raynaud, who seemed to have a direct line to the ear of Robert Parker. When we tasted at Cheval Blanc this year Arnaud de Laffourcade remarked that they had had to do a lot of work in the vineyard since they took over, and are only now reaching the quality level they were looking for. I asked, in some consternation, 'was it not already well-managed?'. It became clear from the response that CB's viticulture is at altogether at another level, and I gained a new respect for what they are doing here. The wine is 70% Merlot, with 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. The stated aim is to make a wine that is pure on the fruit and silky textured, and you have to say 'oh bien fait!' There is a fresh liveliness and delicacy to the fruit which is really appetising and very special in the vintage. Long too. Rating: 91+ L&S (Apr 2012)

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Somewhat 2008-ish in style with high acidity, medium body and a vibrant, berry fruitiness, the dark ruby/purple-colored 2011 is fragrant and attractive, but it would benefit from more flesh and substance on the mid-palate. It should keep for a decade. 2012 - 2022 Rating: 87-89 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com(Apr 2012)

A blend of 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and the third year in organic production, picked between 8th and 27th September, the Quinault l’Enclos has a clean, precise bouquet with crisp raspberry and cranberry fruit with tangible underlying minerality, the oak in synch with the fruit. The palate is tensile and taut, not a great depth of fruit but fresh and citrusy. The finish is just a little attenuated but I think Pierre Lurton has resisted temptation to eke too much from a vineyard, which they are still working hard to reconstitute. Rating: 86-88 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com(Apr 2012)

Under the direction of the team at Cheval Blanc, and tasted alongside. Merlot 70%, Cabernet Franc 20%, Cabernet Sauvignon 10%. An intense hue with a dark core here, but a vibrant and regal hue to the rim. On the nose there is dark and rich plum fruit. Smoky with a stylish elegance. A supple texture, polished and very convincing, clean and defined, with a great purity. A very fine texture and constitution through the middle here, finely balanced too, supple and with a smoky finish. Top notch quality. Rating: 16.5-17.5 Chris Kissack, www.thewinedoctor.com(Apr 2012)

Deep dark cherry. Sweet - but not overly sweet - cherry fruit. A little drier than La Tour du Pin and a little sweeter. A light vanilla note too. Powder fine. Not as long as La Tour but still elegant. Pretty gentle overall. 2016-2026 Rating: 16.5 Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com(Apr 2012)

Pure and focused, with a nice underlying raciness to the plum, kirsch and violet notes. Supple overall, but there's good drive buried on the finish. Rating: 89-92 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator(Apr 2012)

A striking début for this Cheval Blanc-managed property, this is harmonious winemaking from Pierre Lurton’s team. Chocolate and some Asian spices on the nose segue into a palate with well-rounded tannins, tangy acidity and sweet fruit. The oak needs time to integrate, but this is a wine with considerable promise. 8+ years. Rating: 92 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com(Apr 2012)

This is really well made with super fine tannins and pretty fruit with blueberry and mineral. Fresh finish. Solid and polished. The land is now biodynamic. Same owners as Cheval Blanc. Close to quality of 2010. Rating: 90-91 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com(Apr 2012)

Château Quinault l'Enclos

A 19 hectare estate located in the Saint-Émilion appellation of Bordeaux. Although originating the the 17th century, the Château was not used in the production of wine until it was bought by négociant Baptiste Mons in 1930. Since then it has been brought along in leaps and bounds by Dr. Alain Raynaud until its sale in 2008 to Bernard Arnault and his associate Albert Frère, however Raynaud stayed on as a consultant at the property. The vines have a high average age of 60-70 years, and are planted on gravel, sand and clay terroir.

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