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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.
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.
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.
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.
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Mature 2014 - 2019
Ready 2014 - 2030