Quinault l'Enclos 2018

SubregionSt Emilion

This 28 hectare Saint Emilion property in the suburbs of Libourne is now under the same ownership as Cheval Blanc. Wine-making has changed too with a much more subtle style being produced. The vineyard is planted with 70% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. Elevage is in double sized (500 litre) barrels which are 50% new, and 50% one year old and 10% in foudre. This gives the wine a less oaky taste than under the old regime and the wines produced here now are much more in the sophisticated, silky Cheval Blanc style. Much improved, yet modestly priced.


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Tasting Notes

Vivid purple in colour, with blueberries, blood orange and violets on the nose. The palate is toasty with oak but rounded and plump, with fine, plentiful tannin offering a velveteen texture. The finish is long and sweet in fruit, with a lick of spicy oak that adds to the savoury complexity.

Score: 15.5+Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, April 2019

The 2018 Quinault L’Enclos is 10% matured in foudres plus 500-litre barrels. It has a precocious bouquet with floral scents: iris and violet petals infusing the mélange of black and blue fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with lithe tannins, very smooth in texture with blackberry, tar and light tobacco notes. It feels fresh in the mouth, although it just misses a little persistence on the aftertaste at the moment. 2022 - 2036

Score: 89/91Neal Martin, vinous.com, November 2019

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.

Score: 92/94Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (April 2019), April 2019

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.

Score: 93/94James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2019

The 2018 Quinault L'Enclos is impressive. Creamy and ample, the 2018 stands out for its textural breadth. There is a level of intensity in the 2018 that previous vintages have not achieved, with a balance of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc that is striking for such a young wine. All of the work the Cheval Blanc team has done here over the last ten years have begun to pay off big time. Half of the property was replanted between 2008 and 2012 with more Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc from Cheval and Merlot on later-ripening rootstock. In the glass, the 2018 Quinault offers a striking interplay of floral and savory aromatic and layered fruit, with ripe, silky tannins that caress a core of plush, plaint fruit and a gorgeous, saline-infused finish. There is a level of precision in the 2018 that is positively breathtaking.

Score: 91/94Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, May 2019

Deep cherry red. Totally inviting stony/dusty refined black fruit with pencil shavings. Purissimo. Dark, elegant, in a pin-striped suit, long and slim and so fresh and with great finesse and suppleness in the tannins that are so fine you barely feel them, though you know there are plenty of them. Approachable now but likely to relax and open. Best Quinault L'Enclos I have tasted.
Drink 2023-2033

Score: 17.5Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2019

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.

Score: 92/94Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, May 2019

(70 Merlot, 15 Cabernet Sauvignon, 15 Cabernet Franc) | 50% new oak – 500l barrels for 12 months | 14% alc | 40 hl/ha A very good Quinault, with perfect balance and a lovely deep, bright, plum and cherry fruit-core. This is super-smooth and really bright and the overall feel is velvety and serious and I like it enormously.

Score: 17+Matthew Jukes, MatthewJukes.com, April 2019

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