Château Cos d’Estournel 2019
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.
"Harvest for the grand vin began on the 23rd of September and finished on the 7th of October. Composed of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot (with no Petit Verdot or Cabernet Franc this year), yields for this wine in 2019 were 43 hectoliters per hectare, and it is aging in 55% new oak. It came in at an alcohol level of 14.02% and an IPT of 67. Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2019 Cos d'Estournel soars out of the glass with vibrant black raspberries, Black Forest cake and crushed blackcurrants scents plus nuances of red roses, wild sage, dark chocolate and cast-iron pan with a waft of woodsmoke. The medium to full-bodied palate is taut, muscular and built like a skyscraper, with firm, grainy tannins and seamless freshness supporting the concentrated black fruit flavors, finishing with incredible length and depth. This wine so beautifully, clearly captures the juxtaposition between the periods of dry heat and those hallelujah moments of refreshing rain - the hallmarks of this great vintage. It's a vinous masterpiece in the making." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (6/2/2020, Bordeaux 2019 Issue), Ratings: 97-99+
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