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Château Quinault l'Enclos 2007, St Emilion Grand Cru

Deep ruby with a medium rim. Fresher than 2006, this 2007 is made in a dense and as if in a 'Garage' style, the discreet wood is finely toasted. This overall finish is fruity and elegant, with a bouquet of very ripe red berries (raspberry, blackcurrant), liquorice, and floral notes: full and silky in the mouth, with significant volume and refined tannins, ending in a long, creamy, fruity finish. The second glass turns a little sweet black raspberry and currant fruit along with hints of spring flowers, smoky oak earthy and spicy finish after 15 years of gracefully ageing. I recall when we tasted the wine ten years ago, 2007 used to have an unusual structure of acid and tannin frame for a humble Right Bank Grand Cru.

It is now a Cheval Blanc wine(since 2008), hence the 'status' seems higher. Also, in 2012, the composition changed to the majority Cabernet Sauvignon. So, most Merlot, like this 2007 vintage, is history and nostalgically treasured.The composition is 70%Merlot, 15% Cabernet franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon 5%Malbec.

The 20 ha of Quinault L'Enclos at the Southwestern quadrant offers a warm and early microclimate that allows it to reach optimal maturity each year. The 2007 climate is uneven, so this more generous terroir comparable to the best of Pomerol offers lots of relief. The vineyard planted in 1 single parcel is unusual for a winery of that size in the Right Bank. Manual harvesting respects a strict plot selection protocol worthy of the first classified growths. Vinification takes place in wood vats. Malolactic fermentation takes place in barrels. The wine ages an average of 50% new, French oak barrels for up to 18 months, hence there is always some power and complexities.

Dr Alain Raynaud, the winemaker, was in hong kong in the old Peak Cafe Deco, showing most of his wines in the earlier 2000s. His wines, for example, Quinault L'Enclos 2007, are forward, sweet, ripe, round and supple St. Emilion wine styles that are drinking well young and can age gracefully. Some significantly higher scores were accorded.

The score for 2007 is not bad: RP91.

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