Cos d'Estournel 2017

SubregionSt Estephe

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.

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Tasting Notes

The 2017 Cos d’Estournel is matured in 60% new oak and comprises 13% alcohol, approximately the same as the 2016. It has a more expressive and welcoming bouquet than usual, maybe more indicative of how this wine will mature in bottle, less opaque than the 2016. A common theme throughout the range from Cos d’Estournel is a Pauillac-inspired backbone/tannic structure coupled with an attractive scent wafting over from the estuary...think mudflats, oyster shells and the tang of sea spray. It gains a little intensity with aeration but never fully lets go. The palate is very well balanced with filigree tannin, rendering this one of the most approachable barrel samples from the estate in recent years. The coolness of the latter part of the season defines this Saint-Estèphe more than the precocity of June: streamlined, cool and linear with a velvety finish that feels sleek, to the point of being understated, though that belies its length and focus. This is simply a very classy wine in the making and typical of the more recent sophisticated style pursued by the property in recent years. Drink 2022-2045.

Score: 94/96Neal Martin,, May 2018

The final blend of the 2017 Cos d'Estournel is 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc. Very deep purple-black in color, it offers up intense scents of crushed blackcurrants, blackberries and black cherries with touches of incense, spice cake, star anise and plum preserves plus a perfumed hint of potpourri. The palate is medium-bodied with very firm yet wonderfully ripe, "sweet", fine-grained tannins at just 13% alcohol—something of a miracle in our modern times. The palate sports fantastic freshness and tons of energy emitted from the intensely perfumed black fruit layers, finishing on an epically long-lingering mineral note. Truly profound.

Score: 97/100Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (236), April 2018

Love tasting this wine. You almost want to drink it for its harmony and balance. Full-bodied and so complete with cloves, spices, dark berries and hints of chocolate. Wonderful integration on the finish.

Score: 97/98James Suckling,, April 2018

The 2017 Cos d'Estournel is a sleek, polished wine built on finesse more than power. Sweet, perfumed aromatics and silky tannins add to that impression. In 2017 the Grand Vin shows a distinctly red-fruit and floral character that matches its mid-weight personality nicely. The blend is 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc. New oak is around 60%.

Score: 92/95Antonio Galloni, (236), May 2018

Inky with black core and purple rim. Dark-fruited and lightly charry to give a savoury/fruit complexity. Extremely pure cassis. A little more chewy than the Pagodes but still remarkably silky, with clarity, precision and length but without excess richness. Deep and long. Amazing balance already. Great precision, helped by a decade of experience in the new chai, says technical director Dominique Arangoits. Opens in the glass to reveal a hint of something floral. Plenty of depth but no excess weight, and modest alcohol.
Drink 2025-2040

Score: 17.5+Julia Harding MW,, April 2018

There was no frost at Cos. After a cool, dry summer the grapes were picked between 12th and 30th September from a yield of 43 hl/ha. 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc. Maturation in 60% new oak. Medium deep purple, the nose here offers liquorice, spice and black fruit after a little coaxing from the glass. Despite the reticence on the nose, the palate offers plump black cherry fruit and a glossy texture thanks to the ultra refined and quite delicately extracted tannins. The wood smoke and pencil shavings come through more on the finish, where there are some lingering and drying tannins for now. This is succulent and bright on the finish, but not one of the blockbuster, powerhouse wines from Cos d'Estournel.

Score: 16Farr Vintners, April 2018

The nose is firm the start of the palate tight but it opens up in the middle with a rich mix of black fruits black cherry backed by cassis. The concentrated fruit is supported by fine tannins depth of flavour the fruit at the back rich and ripe. Drink 2025-2041.

Score: 91/94Derek Smedley MW,, May 2018

This is exceptional, if a touch below the intensity and harmony of 2016. I love the density that's displayed in this wine, showcasing luxurious, well-enrobed tannins. The complexity steals up on you little by little, the dark cassis and plum fruit character deepening through the palate with flashes of sage, charcoal, cigar box, graphite and taut tannins. The colour difference is marked between the grand vin and second wine, with the Cos extremely deep damson in colour following a one-month maceration at 30 degrees and clever use of the press. Harvested 12- 30 September. 40% of production went into the grand vin. 3.7pH. IPT68. 60% new oak.
Drinking Window 2026 - 2040

Score: 94Jane Anson,, April 2018

Tasted with owner Michel Reybier and winemaker Dominique Arangoïts. After a dry winter, the clay soils were not quite fully replenished with water. March saw good weather and an early bud break. There was no frost damage in April, because of their proximity to the Gironde. In June there were some warm conditions – above 30C during the day and even above 20C during the night. The vines started to suffer a little – a month earlier than this might happen in a normal vintage. From the 26 - 30 June 95mm rain fell and the vineyards recovered. July and August was a little cooler
and not too sunny and ripening continued like clockwork. At the end of August, the growing slowed again, with the vegetal growth stopping but the grapes continued to ripen their tannins. Cool weather and some rain came in September and the skins ripened even faster and they started picking on 12th September. The grapes were perfectly ripe and the balance between skin ripeness, acidity and sugar was perfectly ‘Bordelaise’ according to Dominique. He said that the vintage ended up being a strange hybrid of 2003 heat and 2005 / 2010 coolness. The colour alone is incredible in this wine and this is the first signal to its intensity. The ripe skins gave up absolutely everything for this wine. There is trademark exoticism here found in the scent, but it is tempered by control and detail. There is exquisite balance here, too, and the tannins are sensational - mouth-watering but not too astringent. There are dark chocolate and plum notes on the palate and there is serious length here, but nothing is too hurried or over-extracted. There is no trace of oak – it is in perfect balance from all aspects of its make-up. This seems like a new dawn for Cos – it is a terroir vintage and the terroir has spoken.

Score: 18.5+Matthew Jukes, Matthew Jukes' Blog, April 2018

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.