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This was the first vintage that technical director Pierre-Olivier Clouet started to exclusively use 500-liter barrels for Quinault l'Enclos, decreasing the surface area to which the wines are exposed and, ultimately, the impact of the oak. The percentage of new oak is around 50%, and the blend is 68% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Cabernet Franc. Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Quinault l'Enclos opens with expressive redcurrants, black raspberries, and black cherries scents with savory suggestions of tapenade, dried herbs, and tobacco plus a waft of cloves. Medium-bodied, the palate is fantastically bright and lively with loads of red fruit accents and a firm frame of grainy tannins, finishing on an earthy note.
Château Quinault L’Enclos was not always considered a part of the St. Emilion appellation. Until 1973, the vineyard of Château Quinault L’Enclos was actually part of the satellite appellation of Sables St. Emilion. The Château was renovated and parts of the vineyard were replanted by Alain Raynaud who acquired it in 1997. Another change made by Alain Raynaud was a move from mechanical harvesting to picking by hand.
In 2008 Alain Raynaud sold Château Quinault L’Enclos to the owners of Château Cheval Blanc, Bernard Arnault and Albert Frere. Today, Pierre Lurton and his talented team from Cheval Blanc now manage the estate. After the purchase, the estate switched to organic farming in 2009 and earned its certification for being completely organic in 2012.