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Château Quinault L'Enclos Dinner
Caf° Les Artistes
 

Château Quinault L'Enclos is a tiny walled château and vineyard within the city of Libourne in what was until 1973 the satellite appellation Sables Saint Émilion, just at the outcrop where the River Dordogne makes a wide curving arc. Although closer to Pomerol than to the Saint Émilion plateau, it is recognised as a Grand Cru within the St Émilion classification. Although Château Quinault can be dated back to the 17th century, but it only found its new lease of life when a German real estate company made plans to buy the property and construct a housing development for the city suburbs in 1997. Learning of this and recognising the potential in the property, Dr Alain Raynaud and Françoise Raynaud stepped in to save the property. A former physician and a one time president of the Union des Grands Crus, Dr Raynaud is also owner of the Pomerol estates Châteaux la Croix de Gay and La Fleur de Gay and has been heavily involved in turning around Château Lascombes in Margaux.

Although Raynaud has recently sold Château Quinault to Bernard Arnault, he deserves most of the credit for turning things around at the estate, revamping the vineyard practices and installing a new cuverie and chai - and adding the suffix "L'Enclos" to the name to indicate the vines reside within a walled vineyard. Nevertheless, much of the quality is already in the site. The soil is mainly sandy gravel with traces of iron, and the microclimate in the vineyard is warmer than its surroundings due to its enclosure by the town. Like the Haut-Brion estates in Pessac-Léognan, this helps the grapes to ripen earlier in the season than at most other properties. Meanwhile, the proximity of the River Dordogne helps to protect the vines from frost. The vines, which are 65% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Malbec, were mostly planted between 1930 and 1948 following the earlier acquisition of the site by the negotiant Baptiste Mons, which places the age of the vines at well over half a century. Little surprise then that Château Quinault L'Enclos burst onto the en primeur stage among the Saint Émilion microchâteaux emerging in the 1990s and won considerable acclaim from some quarters, notably Robert Parker.

Although the annual production of about 3,000 to 5,000 cases of the grand vin doesn't make it exceptionally small by right bank standards, Château Quinault L'Enclos is still not the easiest claret to find. Our limited experience with this wine suggests that it offers a profile of smoky, pain grillé, vanilla and some spice accents over a core of ripe black fruit on the nose, while on the palate there is ripe, rounded fruit with only a slight hint of jam, creamy notes and hint of green pepper, underpinned by lovely acidity, a graceful body and well structured tannins; but really we're also looking forward as much as anyone else to this opportunity to understand this hidden gem better.

Besides adding some wines to give this exciting vertical context (e.g. another St Émilion wine of similar maturity, and a Bordeaux white), we're pleased to have enlisted chef Nicolas Joanny to design a precise contemporary French menu to complement the wines. Nicolas is well-known to the fine-dining scene in Singapore, having previously helmed at Intermezzo and Les Saisons here before a stint at Le Vendôme in Bangkok. He now runs his eponymous restaurant and its larger sister bistro, Café Les Artistes, a few doors apart in Keong Saik Road, and in order to accommodate us Nicolas has kindly reserved the Les Artistes space exclusively for this event.

The Society thus proudly ….

Presents
Château Quinault L'Enclos Dinner

Date: January 17th 2009 (Saturday)
Venue: Café Les Artistes
Address: 35 Keong Saik Road
Time: 7:30 pm (Aperitif Reception), 8:15 pm (Dinner)

Price: Member (S$160) Guest (S$190)
Dress Code: Smart Casual

Limited to 40 pax
Bookings and reservations: Please email: C T Chen at ctchen@acieslaw.com for reservations.
PLEASE NOTE: Reservations WILL NOT be considered confirmed unless the Booking Form together with Payment
is received by 11th January 2009.


Menu Selection:

The chef will be creating and putting together 2 special menus.
The Meat Option is attached and the Non-meat Option will be announced as soon as
the Chef is able to revert on the same (delays due to the festive season).
Please choose either the Meat Option OR the Non-meat Option.
[See Attached Folder]
*For vegetarians, a special menu can be arranged upon request.
* Please reply with menu preference. Non indication will be assumed preference for Meat Menu *


Wine Selection:

Tyrrell's Semillon 1999
Clarendelle Blanc 2005
Château Grand-Pontet 1998
Château Quinault L'Enclos 2001
Château Quinault L'Enclos 2000
Château Quinault L'Enclos 1999
Château Quinault L'Enclos 1998
Château de Jau 'Clos de Paulilees' Banyuls 2005

 


 

 



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