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Château Cos d`Estournel is named after its 19th century owner, Louis-Gaspard d'Estournel, and it was he who built the bizarre oriental edifice that is a landmark for any tourist in the Médoc. Today Cos d'Estournel is without doubt the leading estate in St-Estéphe. It is located in the south of the appellation on the border with Pauillac and its vineyards are superbly sited on a south-facing gravel ridge with a high clay content, just north of Lafite.
Cos d'Estournel is typically a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc - do not be fooled by the relatively high Merlot content, as these are full-bodied, dark, brooding tannic wines when young which develop a complexity and intensity that can rival many top growths from Pauillac.
In 1998 the Prats family sold Cos d'Estournel to The Tailan Group but Jean-Guillaume Prats remains in charge. Cos d'Estournel is classified as a 2ème Cru Classé.
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With 70% of the crop going into this brilliant wine, what you really have this year is almost what you got from the Grand Vin in great Cos years like 2001 and 2002. Very serious, deep, sweet and gloriously savoury. Cool dense core of dark black ripe fruit. Really sumptuous and should come in at a price this year that we will all be able to afford. Here’s hoping. Simon Staples, Berrys’ Fine Wine Director
Case price (6)
Case saving £71.28
Magnum 6 x 150cl
Bottle 12 x 75cl
Sweet, soft, succulent, juicy, sexy, round, joyous, this Pagodes seems a tad more ‘fun’ in comparison to its big, more sensible, yet profound brother. I don't mean to make it sound frivolous, and not the dense and really gorgeous glass that it is. Far from it, but it's like a GT Continental convertible versus a Bentley Arnage; it is a little less serious and just a tad flash! This is certainly the best Pagodes we have tried to date. Scrumptious! (62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot) Simon Staples, Fine Wine Director
Case price (12)
Case saving £49.68
Lightening sharp, fresh, elegant, with a distinct hint of waxy lemon and interesting minerality. Without doubt the most interesting Cos Blanc to date. Price is the key here though and I’m sorry it’s in the same league as Domaine de Chevalier Blanc, but so are Manchester United and Wolves both in the Premier League. Needs to be c £300 per case. (Simon Staples, Berrys’ Fine Wine Director)
“It’s Bordeaux! Bravo!” were the first few words I wrote after plunging my nose into the 2011. Now, please don’t take this the wrong way Jean-Guillaume, but 2009 and 2010 have been Bordeaux but almost 'Bordeaux Plus' on steroids. Both were truly remarkable wines and mostly above their peers qualitatively, they were just different. Rigorous selection was made in 2011 and only 30% of the entire crop went into the Grand Vin, so it is somewhat reined in this year. It is still deeply intense, ripe, powerful and complex, but with far more subtlety than the two previous vintages. It’s almost like the incredible, state of the art, 'Starship Enterprise' of a new chais, was a wild Arabian stallion in 2009 and given time, passion and sheer endeavour has been broken, a little, over the last few years, and now the rider and horse know each other perfectly. Although the 2011 Cos is a magnificent wine and should be considerably cheaper than 2009 and 2010, I honestly believe “we ain’t seen nothing yet” and this estate will go from strength to strength. Simon Staples, Berrys’ Fine Wine Director
Bottle 6 x 75cl
Subtle spicy oak and red fruitnose, with round opulent flavours; although slightly closed on the finish, this will surely be a very good wine indeed. The complexity which was so evident from the start is now starting to unravel itself as the wine matures, promising great rewards for the patient.
50% of the estate’s crop was used in the production of the Grand Vin this year, which is reflected by this wine’s intense power and complexity. The challenging weather conditions meant that careful management in the vineyard and use of modern technologies in the winery were critical in 2012. Fortunately, Cos d’Estournel was able to do both and the result is a concentrated and juicy wine. 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot complete the blend.
D. Magnum 1 x 300cl
Cos d’Estournel’s multimillion Euro renovation project (as seen on Wine: The Firm) has turned its winery into a futuristic sight incredible to behold. Gravity flow is now all-important to ensure that the wine is moved around in the gentlest way possible. The 2008 is the first vintage to be made in the new winery and fortunately for investors in Cos’s grand project, we think you can taste the difference. This was by far the finest wine we tasted in St Estèphe. The majority of wines from this cooler commune were austere and lacking the ripe fruit found elsewhere in Bordeaux in 2008. This however has dark, brooding fruit yet is elegant and fine with lovely minerality and savoury complexity. It may need a while but this should be very impressive indeed in fifteen years’ time.
This is the exception that proves the rule in 2006. St Estèphe had a difficult time in this vintage, but you wouldn't know it tasting this sophisticated, classically structured wine. Just a notch above Montrose in quality, and more masculine in style, this is highly polished with an intense concentrated spicy cassis nose, a lovely purity of rich black fruit with licorice hints and a fine tannic structure. The finish is very long.
We drank this at our Cos dinner on 20th November 2009, with Jean Guillaume and a host of older vintages. We had 2003 and its the best 2003 I have tried in 3 years and better than at least 2 of the First Growths from that hot year. However as magnificent as his 2003 is the 2005 is on another ,higher, level. Its beautiful. Powerful, structured but seamless. Its very young of course but as the customer I was sitting next to remarked, "Where is the tannin?" . They are so fine and perfectly integrated with the glorious black fruit , whimsical acidity and non obvious alcohol it really is a glorious harmonious triumph. With the First Growths in 2005 at £5000 per case plus, qualitatively this is a steal. Simon Staples - Asia Wine Director - 21-Nov-2009 Cos is polished and rich, with a fantastic acidity that will enable it to age majestically. Made with 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, this is a wonderful, dense wine with earthy St Estèphe minerality amidst the incredibly rich fruit. General Manager Jean-Guillaume Prats thinks that 2005 might be as good as their legendary 2003 - but we definitely thought it was better. This fantastic wine is the first serious candidate for wine of the vintage. Simon Staples, Apr-2006
Salmanaz. 1 x 900cl
Jean-Guillaume Prats describes the 1995 vintage as the epitome of this estate's wines. The wine, deep in colour with stunning cassis flavours and richly textured fruit, concentrates on pure balance and elegance. Still very youthful but potentially a very great Cos.
Iconic. Inspirational. Electric. A sensory overload but not in an over-extracted, phony way – just in such a dense, pure and decadent sense. It’s massive but with a rapier-like precision of cool and eucalyptus-fresh Cabernet that takes your breath away. It has a very defined and ridiculously long finish, and I cannot wait to drink this in 15 years or so. A finer more Bordeaux-like perfection than 2009, it is quite humbling actually. Another ‘New First’ for the mere mortals like us. Cos d’Estournel 2010. (78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot) (Simon Staples, BBR Fine Wine Director)
Inky black colour, with a dense, sweet berry nose and an attractive aroma of smoky new oak. The palate offers little at the moment as the firm tannins and balanced acidity surround a deep centre of cassis fruit and mineral extraction. One for the cellar.
The good news is that Cos is as close to the First Growths as it has ever been. A pure Cabernet nose is impressively supported by minerally cassis fruit, dark chocolate, licorice and lovely ripe tannins. It is one of the very few 2007s with real intensity, a result of late picking and the lowest yields since the excellent 2002. Obviously we wish this wine was less expensive, and the strong Euro cannot be blamed on the Chteau's pricing policy, but we feel obliged to point out there are other wines that offer considerably better value for money. We cannot condone the price for the 2007, but we feel we have to make an offer as it is one of the world's great wines.
With and astonishing generosity of fruit and incredible concentration, this is, in our opinion, one of the top second wines of the vintage. The wine is so incredibly pure, with intense blackcurrant coulis fruit and yet a wonderful freshness adding poise and focus. Superbly integrated and with unbelievably ripe tannins for St Estèphe, this really is quite an achievement but very pricey.
Cos Estournel 2009 is truly remarkable. The USS Enterprise-like, state-of-the-art winery Jean-Guillaume Prats has installed over the last few years, combined with the incredible, meticulous sorting he has done in the vineyard and the astounding 2009 vintage itself, has culminated in this astonishing wine. I have been lucky enough to try this wine four times this year and I have never tasted anything quite like this in 22 years of tasting Bordeaux. Massively concentrated, but not in an over-extracted fashion, you can feel that feel; every centilitre has been lovingly nurtured from the vine to the glass. It's high in alcohol and tannins but they are integrated into its total balanced enormity. I'm pretty sure this will taste full-bodied, decadent and voluptuous from when its bottled and possibly for another 50/60 years. Also, I bet the farm that this will be THE most talked and controversial wine of the vintage. Simon Staples, BBR Sales & Marketing Director
D. Magnum 3 x 300cl