Chateau Quinault L’Enclos 2012 was originally bought back to life by Alain Reynaud (former president of the Union des Grands Crus) who purchased it in 1997, saving it from a new housing development.
Its history is largely unknown, but the estate is thought to have originated in the 17th Century. The vines on Quinault L’Enclos are actually some of the oldest in Saint-Émilion, and many are close to 50 years old. The vineyard itself is walled, and situated on gravel, sand and clay soils planted in 83% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Reynaud produced a sweet, forward, supple style that would drink well in the first 10-15 years. In 2008, the property was sold to Bernard Arnault and Albert Frère (owners of Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy), who also own Château Cheval Blanc and Chateau d’Yquem. With the change in ownership came a change of style, the wines now offering more purity, less oak treatment and increased aging potential.
Chateau 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.
Chateau Quinault L’Enclos is best enjoyed in the first 3-15 years of life. Young vintages can be decanted for about 1 hour to 90 minutes. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment.