In June 2011, Prince Robert of Luxembourg and owner of Domaine Clarence Dillon, owners of Château Haut-Brion and Château La Mission Haut-Brion, acquired an interesting estate in Saint-Emilion, which they renamed Château Quintus.
In October 2013, Château Quintus in turn acquired the neighbouring property, Château L’Arrosée, and these two well known estates were united in order to attempt to produce one of the very finest wines of Saint-Emilion.
Having tasted all releases of this wine since it’s first showing in 2011, it was very interesting to see the second vintage on the Masters of Wine 2012 claret tasting lineup. Being from the Haut Brion stable, we always knew they would be able to apply their magic and conjure up something special. It was just a matter of how long and how many vintages it would take to make something special.
At yesterday’s tasting, the Chateau Quintas 2012 was described by some fellow MW colleagues as “a pretty girl wearing too much make up”. I found this comment a little unfair in the context of a fairly difficult vintage and more importantly … after tasting almost everything well known on the right bank from Chateau Angelus to Cheval Blanc and La Fleur Petrus to Trotanoy.
But this Chateau’s wines are most certainly a work in progress. But judging from the 2012 tasted yesterday, I’m feeling a lot more excited about Chateau Quintus’ prospects and look forward to tasting the new 2016 vintage with Prince Robert in Bordeaux in April 2017.
Tasting Note: This 89% Merlot – 11% Cabernet Franc blend is such a beautiful St Emilion expression. Lovely lifted nose of black and purple fruits, fragrant perfume, pink and purple flowers and a rich, jasmine note. Definite hints of vanilla pod, cedar spice and alluring blueberry crumble. The palate is refined and very elegant with the most tantalising balance of saline cassis fruit and cranberry freshness. The wine is also seamlessly soft textured, ultra polished and elegantly vibrant with good fruit concentration and length. A really impressive effort that’s evolved and come on a long way since its first showing at En-primeur in 2013. (Wine Safari Score: 93+/100 Greg Sherwood MW)