The 2018 Cos d’Estournel is matured in 50% new oak, a little less than usual. It has a more opulent bouquet compared to the 2016 and 2017 as you might imagine with high-toned but not overbearing black cherries, iodine and cassis aromas. The dialling down of the oak we a good idea. With aeration it manifest enticing violet scents. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins that creates what is one of the most lithe Cos d’Estournel releases in recent years. It is silky smooth in texture with fine acidity, the 14.59% alcohol just lending a little decadence towards the finish. It is one of the more heady wines in recent years although everything seems to me kept in check and the tannins feel very fine and precise on the finish, indicative of prudent winemaking. Very fine, even if it does not quite match the ethereal 2016 Cos d’Estournel. Drink 2025-2060.
|Score: 95/97||Neal Martin, vinous.com, November 2019|
The 2018 Cos d'Estournel is composed of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc and has 14.59% alcohol. Aging in 50% new barriques, it has a deep purple-black color and drifts effortlessly, gracefully, seductively out of the glass with slowly unfurling notions of blackcurrant cordial, wild blueberries, chocolate-covered cherries and plum pudding with touches of violets, licorice, wild roses and yeast extract plus a waft of loose tobacco. The full-bodied palate is built like a brick house with a solid frame of super firm, super ripe tannins and seamless freshness to back up the vibrant, crunchy, oh-so-muscular fruit, finishing long with loads of mineral layers. Amazing structure will keep this beauty for at least half a century and probably a full one!
|Score: 97/100||Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (April 2019), April 2019|
The beautiful integration of ripe fruit and ripe tannins gives the wine a layered and agile mouthfeel. Soft and gorgeous with silky tannins that really kick in at the finish and carry the wine for a long time.
|Score: 98/99||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2019|
A regal, soaring Saint-Estèphe, the 2018 Cos d'Estournel is also clearly one of the wines of the vintage. On the palate, the 2018 is dark and sumptuous, with striking aromatic presence and silky tannins that wrap around a rich core of exotic fruit. Black cherry, savory herbs, leather, spice and menthol build in the glass in a wine that is both aromatically intense and richly textured. The 2018 has been nothing short of breathtaking on the two occasions I have tasted it so far. Don't miss it.
|Score: 97/100||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, May 2019|
74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. Barrel sample.
Black core with narrow purple rim. Intense black fruit with just a hint of charry oak. Smells sweet and ripe but pure and fresh-fruited too. Glorious Cabernet here. Deep, chewy and rich on the palate, firm velvet texture, incredibly moreish and so fresh, as much from the tannins as from the acidity. Leaves your mouth clean with dark, savoury, rocky length. Very precise winemaking. I love those dry clean-tasting tannins on the finish. (JH) 14.9%
|Score: 17.5||Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2019|
Deep purple in colour, with a nose of blueberry, black pepper and toasty oak. There are hints of exotic anise and clove here too. The palate is intense, with a rich, chewy structure and bold, ripe fruits. There are waves of fresh acidity that tame the riper elements and bring notes of dried leaves, cedar and incense. The finish is slick and polished, but remains firm. This is another 2018 that will need time in bottle to show its best.
|Score: 17.5+||Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, April 2019|
Deeply colored, the 2018 Cos D'Estournel shows the incredible purity and elegance that this estate delivers these days as well as fabulous crème de cassis, graphite, white flowers, and spicy oak aromas and flavors. Made from 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and the rest Petit Verdot, aging in 50% new barrels, it builds with time in the glass and has a full-bodied, decadent yet also seamless mouthfeel, layers of tannins, and a great finish. This is as classy as it gets and certainly a candidate for the King of Saint-Estèphe in 2018. Given its purity and balance as well as depth of fruit, it should offer loads of pleasure in its youth yet also evolve nicely for 3-4 decades. This estate has been on an incredible roll over the past 7-8 years and this is another killer wine. For those interested in the technical data, this wine hit 14.59% alcohol, with a pH of 3.69, total acids of 3.3, and a whopping IPT of 80.
|Score: 97/99+||Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, May 2019|
This has some austerity on the attack, then announces its arrival in the inimitable way that Cos is able to do: with a slow build up of exotic spices, liquorice root, cedar and cassis. It stretches out through the palate and you keep waiting for the tannins to punch through like they did in 2010, but it doesn't happen, even though this is a big wine with high alcohol and an IPT of 80. There's a great menthol freshness on the finish, helped no doubt by a fresh 3.65pH. It has the luxurious signature of Cos, the glamorous touch that you look for in this wine - like at Mouton and at Angelus - that is part of their DNA, but it's also married to elegance and a touch of slate minerality. This is a wine that you would be thrilled to own. 12mm of rain on 12 September and 20mm in mid-August were just enough to stop any blockages in ripening, although the 30hl/ha yield is low due to a touch of mildew and some concentration in September. This compares to a more generous 45hl/ha in 2016. 65% of production went into the grand vin. 1% Petit Verdot makes up the blend, and the wine is aged in 50% new oak (a little lower than the usual 60%). A candidate to upscore when in bottle.
Drinking Window 2028 - 2042
|Score: 97||Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2019|
(74 Cabernet Sauvignon, 23 Merlot, 2 Cabernet Franc, 1 Petit Verdot) | 50% new oak | 14.59% alc | 30 hl/ha | 3.69 pH | 66% of total production | 80 IPT I tasted the wines with owner Michel Reybier and winemaker Dominique Arangoïts and they were peculiarly quiet as I worked my way through the glasses. This only ever happens when those concerned are extremely pleased with their wines but don’t want to show it. How right they were, albeit without giving anything away! The entire suite of wines from this estate is impeccable, but the Grand Vin is a staggering tour de force. From the incredible volume of fruit on the nose to the exquisite detail on the palate, this is an awesomely balanced wine. It has everything. The fruit is sensationally seductive and its depth is profound. The mouth-watering mid-palate is truly epic and there is freshness and bounce from the first sip to the final flavour memory and this balance is enchanting. This is a spectacular vintage for Cos and everything you could possibly want in a wine is here but, crucially, there is not too much of any one element. So often, larger framed wines can tip out of balance and deliver too much of a good thing. Cos remains masterful, expansive and also precision-tooled in its detail. This is the finest young wine I have tasted at this Château and I have no hesitation in giving it a perfect score. While many foundered, this imposing estate, sitting on its majestic plot of land took the best elements from the complex and baffling season and used them to its advantage. It is true that wineries used to making richer styles of wine are the most successful, in my eyes, in 2018. Cos d’Estournel is one such property and it has made a wine which will taste incredible every day of its life and, inevitably, many of these days will be long after I have departed this world.
|Score: 20+||Matthew Jukes, MatthewJukes.com, April 2019|