|France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > St Estèphe
Cos is in Saint Estephe but borders Pauillac and, in particular, the vineyards of Chateau Lafite. Quality was good in the 1990's but, since the 2001 vintage, it has reached another level. In some vintages the quality level is not far from that of the first Growths. The stunning new winery 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. Following the departure of Jean-Guillaume Prats the new man at the helm is Aymeric de Gironde who joined from Pichon Baron. The only problem at Cos is the en primeur pricing policy which has seen vintages not yet in bottle being offered at higher prices than those at which the consumer can buy recent mature vintages.
In my last sighted review of the 2016 Cos d’Estournel, I wrote: "I suspect it will close down for a period in its youth." Perhaps it is already beginning to shut down, because though this wine was deeply impressive, it fell just a notch short of ethereal previous bottles, despite its "pixelated black fruit" on the nose and "sublime balance" on the palate. I tasted the wine twice thereafter, though this time with a 4-6 hour decant, and this revealed the Cos d'Estournel that has amazed since I first tasted it out of barrel. 2030 - 2070
This is muscular yet so well defined and toned. Full-bodied with deep and dense fruit on the palate, yet powerful and rich at the same time. So much sandalwood and blackberry character. Chewy and rich at the finish. This is a warm and generous wine, but the alcohol is just over 13 degrees. Not that high. Love the finish. Extravagant. Magical. Try from 2025.
Deep garnet in color, the 2016 Cos d'Estournel is quite closed to start, requiring a lot of coaxing to bring out profound notions of creme de cassis, wild blueberries, black cherry compote, and rose oil, leading to suggestions of Indian spices, crushed rocks, and dried lavender. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is both opulent and energetic, revealing loads of perfumed black fruit layers and a plush, polished texture, finishing with epic length and depth.
Exceptional quality, silky tannins, cinammon, turmeric, cloves, grilled liqourice root, crushed rocks, almost seamless, so full of life and character, and brambled fruit. Chcooate, damson, so juicy and characterful, and singing of St Estèphe character, this is the appellation at its best. Decades ahead of it. Shame about the heavy bottle. 100% new oak.Michel Reybier owner, Aymeric de Gironde director (his last year in the role before heading over to Troplong Mondot).
Tasted blind. Minerally nose with all in place. Good vitality and a certain meatiness. Hint of rose petals on the end. Pretty interesting!
Drink 2025 – 2042
Cos is in Saint Estephe but borders Pauillac and, in particular, the vineyards of Chateau Lafite. Quality was good in the 1990's but, since the 2001 vintage, it has reached another level. In some vintages the quality level is not far from that of the first Growths. The stunning new winery 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. Following the departure of Jean-Guillaume Prats the new man at the helm is Aymeric de Gironde who joined from Pichon Baron. The only problem at Cos is the en primeur pricing policy which has seen vintages not yet in bottle being offered at higher prices than those at which the consumer can buy recent mature vintages. The 2016 is a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc with a modest 13% alcohol. Only 45% of the production made it into the Grand Vin this year. Blackcurrant and cedar with a little roasted coffee give the nose a classic, but ripe purity to the wine. The palate is pure with cassis and firmly-structured with plentiful ripe tannins. Exotic notes of star anise and cocoa are layered with kirsch and cassis on a long, fine finish from a pure, refined and restrained Cos that is a step up from the 2015.
The grand vin 2016 Cos d'Estournel checks in as 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, and 1% Cabernet Franc that saw 70% new French oak. One of the more seamless, pure, elegant versions of this cuvée out there, it boasts a saturated purple color as well as a monster nose of pure crème de cassis, gravelly, rocky minerality, tobacco leaf, crushed violets, and lead pencil shavings. One of those “iron fists in a velvet glove” wines, with full-bodied richness and beautiful structure that’s covered by thrilling levels of fruit and texture, it stays tight, compact, and incredibly focused on the palate. It’s already brilliant given its purity of fruit and balance, but it deserves a decade of bottle age and will keep for 4-5 decades. 2024 - 2064.
Inky on the nose the palate has concentrated black fruits depth of flavour. The fruit is ripe mid suppleness silky tannins purity of fruit there is enough freshness to balance and lighten harmony and although firm at the back the finish is rich, supple with ripe black fruits. 2026-41
“There’s a freshness in the wine and I’m not exactly sure where it came from,” admits Dominique Arangoits. And very tasty it is too. Graphite and orange zest aromas segue into a fine, elegant, leafy palate with stylish oak and filigree tannins. 2024-36
The 2016 Cos d’Estournel was a bona fide showstopper out of barrel, the best that I had encountered in over 20 years of visiting the estate during en primeur, so my expectations were piled high when I returned to find out how it performs in bottle. Deep, almost opaque in color, it sports a very intense but broody bouquet with fathomless deep black fruit tinged with blueberry and violet. The aromas almost seem to envelop the senses. The palate is medium-bodied with ultra-fine tannin that I have never witnessed in any other vintage of Cos d’Estournel. There is a beguiling symmetry to this Saint-Estèphe, as well as unerring mineralité. The persistent, tobacco-tinged finish can be felt 60 second after the wine has departed. This is a monumental, benchmark Cos d’Estournel that will give not years but decades of pleasure, though I suspect it will close down for a period in its youth, hence my drinking window. 13.07% alcohol. Drink 2030-2070
The 2016 Cos d'Estournel takes the 2016 baton and runs with it. A blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc that was picked between 26 September and 15 October at 45 hectoliters per hectare, this fabulous Saint Estèphe will be matured in 60% new oak. The alcohol level this year is 13.07%, which proprietor Michel Reybier reminded me is almost 1.5% lower than in 2010. This is clearly a more classically styled Cos d'Estournel that is completely different than say, the 2009 Cos d'Estournel and the more flamboyant, exotic wines in recent years. It actually bears more stylistic similarities to its neighbor Montrose. It is extremely detailed with blackberry and a touch of boysenberry, the fruit almost "creeping up" on you by stealth and then underneath, an undertow of minerals, wet limestone and even flint. The palate has astonishing: exquisite balance, perhaps the most precise and detailed Cos d'Estournel that I have encountered in many years of tasting at this address. It segues into a Pauillac-like second-half with veins of graphite strafing the black fruit, but what marks this Cos d'Estournel is the palpable energy and tension allied with an effortless nature. The persistence, the reverberation in the mouth is quite magnificent, perhaps even longer on my second visit to the property compared to the first. It really is a brilliant Cos d'Estournel that oozes class and sophistication, moreover, a wine that is going to give serious amounts of drinking pleasure over a very long period of time. Boom—and Cos drops the mic. Tasted twice, almost three weeks apart, with consistent notes. Drink 2026 - 2065.
The finish is something else here. This is a wine that’s so powerful and tannic yet at the same time so polished and superb on the finish. Full-bodied, beautifully crafted and precise. This is a wine that really grabs your attention. The agility and power are more than impressive. Wow is the word.
The 2016 Cos d'Estournel is blended of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc aged in 65% new and 35% two-year-old French oak for 15 months. Bottled in July 2018, it is deep garnet-purple colored and starts off a little closed and reticent, opening out slowly and seductively to reveal beautiful lilacs, rose hip tea, crushed stones and camphor nuances over a core of crème de cassis, kirsch, wild blueberries and mocha plus wafts of incense and wood smoke. The palate is simply electric, charged with an energy and depth of flavors that seem to defy the elegance and ethereal nature of its medium-bodied weight, featuring super ripe, densely pixelated tannins that firmly frame the myriad of fruit and floral sparks, finishing with epic length. Just. Magic. Drink 2024-2068.
This is one of the best Cos d'Estournels that I can remember trying at this early stage, it really does have every hair standing up on end. Powerful and deep, with a clear intensity but such delicacy; this is fresh, beautiful and succulent. It moves effortlessly through the palate without ever letting you forget that it's there. Deep black cherries, touches of dark chocolate and graphite are driven forward by a pulse of energy. From a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc aged in 60% new oak.
Drinking Window 2027 - 2050
Energy and raciness on the nose. Gentle and lifted. And then lots of tannins underneath. Fresh almost sandy tannins. Good energy and tea-leaf sensation. Excellent freshness. Long. Restrained. Elegant. 13.07%