Château Cos d'Estournel 2018 (Pre-Arrival)
• Domaine: Château Cos d'Estournel
• Appellation: Saint-Estèphe
• Classification: Second Growth, 2ème Grand Cru Classé
• Origin: Left Bank, Bordeaux, France
• Importer: Laguna Cellar
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 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!" - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate, Ratings: 97-100
"The 2018 Cos d'Estournel is a racy, powerful Saint-Estèphe that is going to need quite a bit of time to find its center. Today, it is tightly wound, but all the energy is there. Lush and extravagantly ripe, the 2018 possesses tremendous depth and plenty of energy to back it all up. Here, too, I found the wine a bit more expressive and giving en primeur." - Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, 98, Drink: 2028-2058
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