The vineyards of Cos d’Estournel have a surface around 91 hectares. Oriented south, the sit on gravelly soils composed mostly of chalk. Most of the vines are Cabernet Sauvignon ( 60%) with the remainder Merlot.
The Chateau was founded in the early 19th century by Louis Joseph Gaspard Lacoste de Maniban Marquis d’Estournel. He was also known as the Maharadjah of Saint-Estephe. The architecture of the Chateau is inspired by the trip to oriental lands of the Marquis.
The blend of COS varies from year to year reflecting the particular conditions of the vintage. Only fruit from the vineyards 20 years or older go into the grand vin.
I had a chance to attend a tasting of selected vintages at SAQ Signature a few years ago. It was an amazing experience having taste the wine for the first time and in different vintages. Comparative tastings like this one gives you a chance to get to know the personality of a wine.
The White 2006
( 80% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Semillon) Aged 100% 1 year old barrels
Nice golden colour. Very complex nose. Lots of aromatics bringing to mind old spice and papaya cream. Full body, structured. Very elegant and fresh despite its age. Long finale. Drinking well now but could be kept for another 5 years. 95/100
Cos d’Estournel 2007
( 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc) Aged 80% in new oak barrels
An underrated vintage in Bordeaux, reflecting more the terroirs. Harvest benefited more Cabernet Sauvignon than Merlot.
Very fine nose reflecting mineral and tertiary notes. Nose bringing to mind iron, red earth. In addition redcurrants, cofee and dry flowers. Full body and long in the mouth. Structured, yet with fine tannins. Retronasal flavors bringing to mind menthol, confited cassis with criollo cocoa beans. Outstanding balance. Drinking well know but it has room for improvement until 2030. 97/100.
Cos d’Estournel 2006
A problematic vintage with hot weather pockets in June, July and the beginning of September. Good wines with some Bordeaux reds reaching unusual concentrations.
( 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc). Aged 80% in new oak barrels
Nose dominated by balsamic notes, dried cassis and stewed cherry and plums. Full body, sensual with a polished mouthfeel. Silky mouthfeel with lots of complex flavours bringing to mind cinnamon, cumin and other oriental spices. Needs more years for optimal tannins maduration. Drinking well until 2030. 96/100
Cos d’Estournel 2001
Harvest got to a rainy start with a wet winter and spring. However, the good weather appears in may with a healthy floraison. September also had optimal weather ensuring a late harvest.
( 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot. Aged in 80% new oak barrels.
Deep and breathtaking nose with lots of red and black fruit character in a spicy and seasoned wood background. Elegant and polished in the mouth with dense but smooth tannins. Subtle and reaching maturity by 2020. 98/100
Cos d’Estournel 1998
This was a particular year sine Cos only utilized 48% of their harvest for the grand vin. Nevertheless, they were able to produce an amazing wine with lots of depth and concentration.
Full blown tertiary aromas. Hummus, black truffles and very leathery. Stewed black fruits such as cassis and cherry. Full body, round, elegant and above all very graceful. Complex finale bringing to mind aromas of licorice, smoke wood and green pepper. Drink now. 100/100.