Château Cos d'Estournel 2016
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Château Cos d'Estournel stands out from the other Bordeaux châteaux in many ways. The exotic, pagoda-like architecture and ornate entryway conjure visions of distant lands in the mind’s eye. The unconventional is embraced here, and it serves this renegade Second Growth producer well. Their wines have an exotic and opulent quality yet maintain the longevity that many St-Estèphe producers possess. Though Château Cos d'Estournel was initially classified as a Second Growth in 1855 -- make no mistake, the wines of this producer consistently rival the top tier First Growths vintage after vintage.
The history of this estate begins with Louis Gaspard d’Estournel, whose love of the estate knew no bounds. He adored exotic places and designed the estate to resemble the architecture of the Orient. He saw the potential of the terroir at Château Cos d'Estournel due to the close proximity to Lafite Rothschild. He believed the terroir surrounding the estate was a viticultural goldmine and decided to snap up as many parcels of land around him that he could. Louis Gaspard d’Estournel’s devotion to the estate was almost an obsession; he would frequently drive himself into debt by acquiring parcels of land and expanded the vineyard from 14 to 45 hectares.
Under Louis’ watchful leadership, Château Cos d'Estournel did not participate in a negociant system because he loved selling wine directly to his loyal client base. He was a forward thinker and understood the importance of a global marketplace; frequently shipping his wines to foreign countries like India. Surprisingly, the long journey from France to the Far East facilitated the aging process, his wine often arrived in the various courts of the Indian kingdoms in great conditions. The terroir of Saint-Estèphe produces wines that give hints of spices, a perfect pairing with the food from India and other Far East cultures, well-known for their use of spices. The confident owner's devotion to creating quality wine paid off, earning him the title of “The Maharaja of St-Estèphe.” Unfortunately, he passed away before he could bear witness to the fruits of his labor when Château Cos d'Estournel was classified as a Second Growth in 1855.
The cellar of the estate is now a 100% gravity flow winery with wine elevators that replace pumps used in the traditional racking process. This yields a richer, more sensuous wine.
Château Cos d'Estournel is a highly versatile estate that makes both red and white wines. They stand out among many St-Estèphes due to their higher concentrations of Merlot, instead of the usual Cabernet Sauvignon. The white wines of Château Cos d'Estournel also dazzle, with their blends of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Pagodes de Cos, their Second Wine is top notch and considered one of the best produced. Since the 1980s, Château Cos d'Estournel has catapulted into “Super Second” territory, with wines that rival First Growths. If he were alive today, Louis Gaspard d’Estournel would surely be very proud.
"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." - Neal Martin, vinous.com, (January, 2019), Rating: 100, Drink: 2030-2070
"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." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (11/30/2018, Interim Issue), Ratings: 100, Drink: 2026-2065
"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." - Neal Martin, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (4/28/2017, Issue 230), Ratings: 97-100, Drink: 2026-2065
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|Brand||Château Cos d'Estournel|