Château Quintus 2020
• Domaine: Château Quintus
• Appellation: Saint-Emilion
• Classification: Grand Cru Classé
• Origin: Right Bank, Bordeaux, France
Enthusiasts who love the winemaking style of Château Haut-Brion will fall in love with the Saint-Émilion estate, Château Quintus. Though Château Quintus had its official start in 2011, the vineyards have a history that dates well before that time. Since Domaine Clarence Dillon took over ownership of the estate, impressive changes both in the vineyards and in the vat room have taken place. Critical acclaim has been trickling in, and the estate is steadily climbing up the ranks. Château Quintus used to be named Château Tertre Daugay after an ancient watch tower located on the grounds. The watchtower was there to function as a lookout point, informing villagers of Saint-Émilion of local threats. The estate was briefly owned by the de Bouard family who owned Château Angélus and changed hands a couple of times until it was purchased by Domaine Clarence Dillon, who saw the potential of this 16 hectare Right Bank vineyard.
Château Quintus derives its name from the Latin word for, “five.” Ancient Roman families would often name their fifth child Quintus. The Romans were the first to plant vines in the Right Bank region of Saint-Émilion, and the team over at Domaine Clarence Dillon tends to their estates like their own children, so the name is a perfect fit. The property was initially 15 hectares until in 2013 Domaine Clarence Dillon purchased several plots of vines from Château L’Arrosee. Domaine Clarence Dillon spared no expense extensively renovating the vat room at Château Quintus, implementing the use of state-of-the-art technology. Château Quintus is currently being overseen by the energetic Jean Philippe Delmas, who understands the enormous potential of this land.
The special limestone and clay soil is a home to plantings of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. There were initially Cabernet Sauvignon vines planted here, but Domaine Clarence Dillon removed them in favor of more Cabernet Franc. The majority of the vines are 30 years old, except a few other parcels that are almost 100 years old. The vineyard is tended to with great care by the same team that oversees Château Haut-Brion and La Mission Haut-Brion. After harvest, the wine is vinified in a mixture of stainless steel tanks and wooden vats. The wine is then aged in a mixture of new and neutral French oak barrels. Those who are familiar with the wine of Château Haut-Brion recognize the signature squat bottles that are reminiscent of old decanter bottles. Château Quintus also has its own unique glass bottle that was inspired by an ancient bottle of Château Haut-Brion discovered in a pirate’s lair. The bottle has a raised seal engraved on the glass which is an homage to the design found on the old bottle of Haut-Brion.
Château Quintus is a silky, supple wine that benefits from about 8 to 10 years bottle ageing. The wine needs decanting for about 1-2 hours to reveal its delicate nuances. With each passing vintage, the wine improves. Without a doubt, the trajectory of this promising estate is a very exciting one.
"The 2020 Quintus is a blend of 62.5% Merlot and 37.5% Cabernet Franc, weighing in with an alcohol of 15.4%. Displaying a deep purple-black color, it leaps from the glass with bold notes of crushed blackberries, boysenberries and stewed plums, plus suggestions of chocolate mint, clove oil, lilacs and star anise. The full-bodied palate is densely laden with rich black fruits and floral accents, framed by well-balanced acidity and finely grained tannins, finishing with great length and impressive energy. Judging from this barrel sample, this is the finest, most complex and complete Quintus yet—bravo!" - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (6/10/2020, Bordeaux 2019 Issue), Ratings: 95-97, Drink: 2026-2050
"Exuberant and confident, with powerful damson and black cherry fruit flavours on the nose. Chocolate and liquorice run through the palate from beginning to end, and this is full of signature St-Emilion glamour. It has a round and supple texture through the mid palate, but the alcohol hides some of the limestone nuance at this point - it will no doubt emerge more clearly with 8 to 10 years in bottle. Harvest 11th September for the Merlot grapes and 23rd September for the Cabernet Franc." Jane Anson, Decanter, Bordeaux Primeur Week (04/30/2021) Rating: 93
"A big, velvety textured wine, especially in the vintage, the 2020 Château Quintus offers a gorgeous array of pure crème de cassis and black raspberry fruits as well as leafy herbs, graphite, and chocolate. These all carry to a full-bodied Saint-Emilion with a round, mouth-filling texture, ripe tannins, and a great finish. This estate has been firing on all cylinders of late, and this should be in the same realm as the 2016, 2018, and I suspect, the 2019." Jeb Dunnuck, Bordeaux 2020: En Primeur - Part 1 (05/23/2021) Rating: 94-96
"The 2020 Quintus is wonderfully promising. Soft contours and generous fruit give it tons of immediate appeal. Blueberry, mocha, lavender, spice and new leather are some of the aromas and flavors that emerge over time. More than anything else, though, Quintus impresses with its harmony. The 2020 is one of the finest vintages I have tasted here." Antonio Galloni, Vinous (June, 2021) Rating: 92-94