2022 Cos d'Estournel, St Estèphe, Bordeaux
The 2022 Cos d'Estournel was picked from 7 to 23 September at 33hL/ha and is aged in 50% new oak (one cannot imagine that being countenanced 15-20 years ago). It has an overtly floral nose with wilted violets infusing the precocious yet controlled black fruit. There's fine delineation, impressive focus and energy.
The palate is smooth and silky on the entry with pliant, sculpted tannins. The acidity is well judged (3.79pH) with white pepper and a graphite element toward the persistent finish. Quintessential Cos d'Estournel, this wine will mature for many years, although the jury's out on whether it will surpass triumphs like the 2016 or 2019/20.
Drink 2030 - 2065
Neal Martin, Vinous.com (May 2023)
The 2022 Cos d’Estournel is stunning. Rich and statuesque in bearing, the 2022 captures all the best this vintage had to offer. A wine of precision and power, the 2022 balances the year’s intensity without veering into the exotic realm, as in vintages such as 2005 and 2009.
It marries ripeness and classical rigour in a style that is quite appealing. The 2022 will need a good 15-20 years to be at its finest. Harvest took place between September 7 and 23, exceptionally early.
Drink 2028 - 2052
Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com (April 2023)
The 2022 Cos d'Estournel, composed of 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot, is deep garnet-purple in color. It needs quite a lot of shaking and swirling to unlock fragrant notes of warm cassis, redcurrant jelly, and black raspberries, leading to hints of rose oil, Indian spices, cedar chest, sandalwood, and a touch of crushed rocks.
The medium to full-bodied palate is classic, with a solid backbone of firm, ripe tannins and impressive tension to support the taut, muscular black and red fruit layers, finishing very long and with remarkable purity.
pH 3.79, TPI 90
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent (May 2023)
Inky colour with violet edging, this is full of intense damson, incense, baked plum and black chocolate. A huge quantity of tannins, but the texture is velvety, giving a creamy edge to the fruits, with contrast and freshness provided by orange zest and slate.
Some of the old Merlot vines on gravel were picked early to tame them, but generally, the vineyard took the vintage in its stride, and almost 75% of production is in the 1st wine. Harvest September 7 to 23, 33hl/h yield, 90IPT, 50% new oak. Potential upscore in bottle.
Drink 2032 - 2048
Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com (May 2023)
61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. 66% of the production. Cask sample.
Deep purple-black hue. Firm, structured with huge reserve. Layers of dark fruit and a massive tannic frame. Almost like it’s been hewn from stone. Tannins polished, though, providing enormous length. Not for the faint-hearted. Will need patience.
Drink 2034 - 2055
James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com (May 2023)
The 2022 Cos d'Estournel unwinds in the glass with aromas of sweet berries, plum liqueur and rich spices, followed by a full-bodied, broad-shouldered and muscular palate that's rich and structured, with a ripe core of fruit and chewy tannins.
Harvest dates were relatively early this year, and maturation occurs in only 50% new oak. Yet, the 2022's chunky, glass-staining style makes it Ducru Beaucaillou's only rival for the title of most extracted second growth of the Médoc.
William Kelley, Wine Advocate (April 2023)
Unique structure to this wine, and very Cos with all the spices and dark fruits. Tobacco and cedar. It starts off full-bodied and flavourful but continues to unfold energetically and weightlessly. Savoury and primary. Al dente grapes here. Exciting and thought-provoking.
James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (April 2023)
Fresh and vibrant blackcurrant aromas with milk chocolate, vanilla and floral scents - so aromatic and expressive. Juicy and alive, bright and rich on the palate, with soft herbal scents surrounding the fruit. The flavours - blackcurrant, black cherry, damson and orange rind - settle vertically, but the firm and textured tannins give the focus, structure and tension.
It has liquorice and flint edges, giving a savoury touch and evident minerality, as well as dark chocolate and clove spice. Refined and serious, a delicious juicy undercurrent provides life and energy. Confident winemaking on show, this is a real success in delivering a complete and powerful wine with depth but no heaviness.
Totally delicious and moreish. A wine you’re going to finish! Potential upscore in bottle. Two-third grand vin production. 2.94 total acidity. 3.79pH. 90 IPT. 1% Petit Verdot completes the blend.
Drink 2027 - 2050
Georgina Hindle, Decanter.com (April 2023)
One of the finest wines to ever pass my lips, the 2022 Château Cos D'Estournel is a monument in the making. Based on 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, and 1% each of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, this saturated ruby/purple-hued Saint-Estèphe offers a full-bodied, massive, opulent style as well as aromatic red, blue, and black fruits, ample spice, chocolate, graphite, and lead pencil-like aromatics, a stacked mid-palate, flawless balance, and a monster of a finish.
An improved version of the 2009 (if that's possible), this is a legendary wine in the making—hats off to Michel Reybier and technical director Dominique Arangoïts.
Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, (May 2023)
About this WINE
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. Cos d'Estournel is classified as a 2ème Cru Classé.
Saint-Estèphe is the northernmost of the most important communes of the Médoc and borders Pauillac on its southernmost border, with only a gully and stream separates it from Ch. Lafite. To the north lies the Bas-Médoc.
Saint-Estèphe is defined by the depth of its gravel, which is ubiquitous but of varying depths and occasionally very shallow, when clay predominates. This keeps the soil cooler and wetter than its counterparts so that the wines can appear fresh in lighter vintages, but superbly successful in hot, dry years.
The best châteaux in the south of the commune have the deepest soil and the thickest gravel. Cos d'Estournel has an exceptional terroir with its vineyards being located on a south-facing ridge of gravel with excellent drainage.
Saint-Estèphe is the least gravelly of main Médoc communes and in the north of the commune the vineyards are heavier and more clay-based leading to a rustic style of wine being produced.
The wines can appear austere in youth with a discernable ferric note at some châteaux, but the best typically display good depth of colour, pronounced acidity an tannins in youth and are exceptionally long-lived. At their best, they are the equal of almost any Bordeaux. The well-regarded St Estèphe co-operative controls the production of about half the appellation.
Cabernet Sauvignon Blend
Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.
In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.
In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and Australia.