Cos d'Estournel 2011

SubregionSt Estephe

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Tasting Notes

The 2011 Cos d'Estournel exhibits a dense ruby/purple color and sweet, toasty, oaky notes intermixed with floral and forest floor characteristics. The complex aromatics suggest this is a top success in 2011. In the mouth, the wine is slightly more compact than one would find in a great vintage, such as 2009 and 2010, but it has impressive richness for the vintage as well as light to moderate tannin and admirable purity. It will benefit from 2-5 years of cellaring, and should keep for 15-20 years. Only 30% of the production was utilized for Cos D'Estournel, a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc. DRINK:2016 - 2036

Score: 91Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, May 2014

Because of a smaller than normal crop as well as the elimination of vineyard parcels devastated by the hail storm of September 1, production for Cos d'Estournel in 2011 is the smallest since 1991. Production for the 2011 Cos d'Estournel (65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc that achieved 13.5% natural alcohol) is about 30% of their normal volume. An outstanding effort, this deep ruby/purple-colored wine exhibits notes of lead pencil shavings, black currants, boysenberries, cedar and earth. Made in a traditional style with more acidity and noticeable tannin than in recent years, this medium-bodied, pure 2011 should drink nicely for 15+ years.

Score: 90/92Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (200), April 2012

A blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc cropped at 36hl/ha, the 2011 has a pleasant, sedate bouquet that is well defined, perhaps missing a little tension and animation, but replete with succulent blackberry, cassis and violets aromas that render it light and feminine. The palate is medium-bodied with grippy, slightly furry tannins on the entry. The acidity it keen and citric, lending this more vigour than Montrose, whilst the finish has fine precision and length. Jean-Guillaume has fashioned a very fine Saint Estèphe for the vintage. Tasted April 2012.

Score: 93/95Neal Martin,, April 2012

A dense, refined wine, with blueberries, blackberries and spices. Full body with integrated tannins and a polished texture. Love the mouthfeel to this. Extremely well done for the vintage, considering the hail in St Estephe. Try in 2018.

Score: 95James Suckling,, January 2014

Very dense and structured with spices, currants and berries and an underlying spiciness. Full body, with chewy tannins and a fresh finish. Structured. Firm. Slightly hollow center palate. Excellent considering the difficulty St. Estephe had with hail and early harvesting.

Score: 92/93James Suckling,, April 2012

Cos was good in the 1990's but since the 2001 vintage, the quality here has reached another level. Jean-Guillaume Prats has been given total control by the owner, Michel Reybier, to produce the best wine possible. His avowed aim here is to make wine of First Growth quality at less than half the price. The stunning new winery may be the final piece in the jigsaw. It is the most modern and sophisticated in all of Bordeaux, with the world's only 100% gravity cellar - no pumps used at all. Cos is now battling it out with Léoville Lascases, Ducru Beaucaillou and Palmer as the Médoc's best non-First Growth. The 2011 vintage here is the result of a massive selection process. Only 9000 cases will be produced which is half the production of 2009 and 2010 and a third of the amount they made here in the 1990s. 70% of the crop will be in the second wine - Les Pagodes de Cos. 2011 was the earliest harvest here since 1893 and the smallest production since 1991. The resulting wine is rather impressive. A really black colour with intense, inky concentration. The savage selection process has really paid off with a wine of great density, power and richness. This is a big, bold wine with masses of black fruit, a viscous texture and good, ripe, balancing tannins. A modern day version of the 1996 - but better.

Score: 17+Farr Vintners, March 2012

The nose is fresh black fruited quite racy. The palate has depth lots of concentrated blackcurrant and black cherry. The fruit feels ripe the sweetness of the fruit backed by dark chocolate and liquorice layers of complex flavours. The tannins are firm structured slightly dry but behind there is black fruited richness.

Score: 90/94Derek Smedley MW, April 2012

Was this wine released early because its owners knew it was not up to the quality of last year's stellar release? Quite possibly. It's dense, deeply coloured and concentrated for the vintage, but the wine seems rather forced, like someone trying to impose a Napa Valley style on a Médoc. Finishes very dry. 10+ years.

Score: 93Tim Atkin MW,, April 2012

Rich blackcurrant fruit, slightly exotic Cos spiciness, structured smoothness and lovely elegant length. Drink 2017-2035.

Score: 18Steven Spurrier,, April 2012

Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.