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Born in 1762 during the reign of Louis XV and died in 1853 under Napoleon III, at the remarkable age of 91, Louis Gaspard d'Estournel had one sole passion: Cos. Having inherited a few vines near the village of Cos, he recognized, in 1811, the quality of their wine and decided to vinify them separately.
Editorial Reviews for Château Cos d'Estournel Red Bordeaux Blend St. Estèphe
The nose is still marked by oak with a dark, spicy, white pepper dusted veil over the candied blackberry fruits. With time this reveals deep inky notes with hints of leather and tea. This reminds me of the 1990. In the mouth this has tons of ripe tannins and bright acids in balance and offering a combination of power and finesse. The fruit on the mid-palate is dark and rich but gives the impression of lightness ending with a red currant rush on the tobacco, clay and green peppercorn scented finish. Really polished tannins here are plentiful but barely noticeable in many ways. 92pts
External Reviews for Château Cos d'Estournel Red Bordeaux Blend St. Estèphe
The Cos to own is rsquo;96. It represents the pinnacle of Bruno Pratrsquo;s thirty-year tenure, a wine he believes to be better than the brilliant rsquo;90, and this tasting seems to corroborate his claims. As usual, Cos is the glamour wine of St.-Estegrave;phe, perfectly tailored, perfectly shaped. Its baby fat hides a kernel of power, an expressive, explosive intensity so harmonious that it is nearly invisible at this young stage. Taste beyond the new oak (of which Prats used less than in the past), beyond the sublime fruit: Therersquo;s a symphony of flavor delivered in one chord, not fruit, not mineral an certainly not oak. Few people anywhere in the world have tuned their vineyards an cellars to such a state of perfection.
Made fro 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot, this is a huge, backward wine reminiscent of the 1986 Cos drsquo;Estournel. At the chacirc;teau, they claim the three vintages I love, 1982, 1985 and 1990, are less ldquo;classicrdquo; than years such as 1986, 1996 and 1998. The 1996 possesses an opaque purple color, as well as pure aromatics consisting of cassis, grilled herbs, coffee, and toasty new oak. Massive in the mouth, and one of the most structured and concentrated young Cos drsquo;Estournel I have ever tasted, this thick, structures, tannic wine has closed down significantly since bottling. It requires 7ndash;8 years of cellaring and should last 30ndash;35 years.
The 1988 has an intriguing bouquet of exotic spices and black fruits. Although it has softened up since bottling, it remains a hard-edged, tannic, austere wine that requires patience. Anticipated maturity: 2000ndash;2020.
A beautiful effort, the 2001 Cos drsquo;Estournel (65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot) exhibits a poised, noble bouquet of black currants, cedar, spice box, and licorice. A hint of truffles emerges as it sits in the glass. Medium-bodied with sweet fruit (mostly black) and nicely integrated wood, it builds incrementally in the mouth, ending with a 50-second finish. Drink this stylish, restrained yet substantial claret over the next 15+ years: 2004ndash;2019.
Jean-Guillaume Prats allowed the vintage to steer Cos toward unprecedented power in 2005; the wine comes in at 13.95 percent alcohol, and itrsquo;s grand in every sense. It smells like first-growth juice, with the kind of oak integration that accentuates the winersquo;s beauty rather than masks it. You can feel the tart black cherry fruit and the black tannin along with a burn in the end that is distinct to this vintage. With several days of air, the tumble and rush of the structure settles and the fruit becomes all-powerful, a taut density of sweet purple plum. Therersquo;s little doubt this will be an astonishing wine at 12 to 15 years of age; its ripeness leads into uncharted territory after that, which makes Cos one of the more interesting wines of the vintage to watch.
While I am not convinced the 2005 Cos drsquo;Estournel will eclipse the compelling 2003 Cos, it is unquestionably another superb classic from proprietor Michel Reybier and his brilliant winemaker, Jean-Guillaume Prats. Made from an unusually high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon (78%) and the balance mostly Merlot with a tiny dollop of Cabernet Franc, this superb effort requires plenty of time in the bottle. It boasts an inky/purple color as well as a glorious perfume of licorice, Asian spices, creme de cassis, blackberries, and toasty oak. This full-bodied St.-Estephe is exceptionally powerful, pure, and dense with a layered mid-palate that builds like a skyscraper. While there are massive tannins, they are remarkably velvety and well-integrated in this big, backstrapping effort that should enjoy an unusually long life. Forget it for 8ndash;10 years, and drink it between 2017ndash;2040.
2001 was the first harvest that Jean-Guillaume Prats felt all the changes he had made since assuming management of the estate in 1998 were in place. The healthy grapes and small, thick-skinned berries allowed Prats to perform cold maceration for a few vats of Merlot. The 2001 is a blend of 55 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 45 percent Merlot; he calls it a ldquo;classicrdquo; year, like 1988 but with more intensity.
Food Pairings for Château Cos d'Estournel Red Bordeaux Blend St. Estèphe
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