Unquestionably the most exciting en primeur Cos I have tasted for many years, this is an absolute beauty. It possesses all the polish that one would expect from this distinguished neighbour of Ch Lafite, classically blended with 76% Cabernet Sauvignon and 23% Merlot (1% Cabernet Franc). It has a deep vibrant purple colour. The initially reserved blackberry aromas evolve in the palate, balancing a silky freshness with a finely polished grainy tannic structure. This has huge class and is a great wine in the making.
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. Drink Date 2026 - 2065
Energy and raciness on the nose. Gentle and lifted. And then lots of tannins underneath. Fresh almost sandy tannins. Good energy and tea-leaf sensation. Excellent freshness. Long. Restrained. Elegant.
The finish is something else here. This is a wine that's so powerful and tannic yet at the same time so polished and superb on the finish. Full-bodied, beautifully crafted and precise. This is a wine that really grabs your attention. The agility and power are more than impressive. Wow is the word.
The beautiful 2016 Cos d'Estournel is one of the most polished, gracious young Cos d'Estournels I can remember tasting. Aromatic freshness and lift, along with a distinctly red fruit profile, are among the signatures. It will be interesting to see if this style of Cos - one in which concentration and textural richness are backed off - is the result of the vintage or an evolution in winemaking philosophy, or perhaps, as is most likely, a little bit of both.
This is one of the best Cos d'Estournels that I can remember trying at this early stage, it really does have every hair standing up on end. Powerful and deep, with a clear intensity but such delicacy; this is fresh, beautiful and succulent. It moves effortlessly through the palate without ever letting you forget that it's there. Deep black cherries, touches of dark chocolate and graphite are driven forward by a pulse of energy. From a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc aged in 60% new oak.
The nose here is stunning with clear, bright, perfume and exceptional direction. The energy and impact of the fruit is very impressive and while it is closed and tart the length is amazing. There was some ‘blockage’ in the summer and when the leaves shut down this had the effect of decreasing the overall power and alcohol of this wine. In addition, the cold, clay soils also helped to temper the dry conditions and the heat. The tannins are tasty, long and savoury and they lengthen the experience. There is a possibility that they will alter the length of time that this wine spends in oak, according to its flavour, but they are not sure yet. Either way, this is a slender, long and fascinating wine and I am happy to suggest that it will fatten up with time and possess the magical qualities of a very long-lived wine.
“There’s a freshness in the wine and I’m not exactly sure where it came from,” admits Dominique Arangoits. And very tasty it is too. Graphite and orange zest aromas segue into a fine, elegant, leafy palate with stylish oak and filigree tannins. 2024-36
Resembling an ancient Indian palace, Cos d'Estournel is like no other Bordeaux château. The estate was founded in the early 19th century by Louis Gaspard d'Estournel and the château was built once the vineyards were established as a celebration of his conquests in the Far East. Since 2000, Cos d’Estournel has been in the hands of French hotelier Michel Reybier. Under Reybier’s direction, the château has thrived. In 2007 he commissioned a state-of-the-art wine cellar, the first in Bordeaux to use solely gravity (no pumps). The 91-hectare vineyard is planted to a majority Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot (33%), Cabernet Franc (1%) and Petit Verdot (1%) and produces the Grand Vin Cos d’Estournel and a second wine, Pagodes de Cos.
St Estèphe is the most northern of Médoc communal crus. Its unique terroir is made up of layers of gravel which are supported by a dense clay base. This subsoil retains water in dry seasons and works particularly well with Merlot, a largely planted variety which is used to flesh out Cabernet Sauvignon. This clay base also creates powerful, textured tannins which enable St Estèphe to stand out from the pack. Like St Julien, it is one of the four most important communal appellations of the Médoc which does not contain any first growths, despite its southern border being a stone'sthrow from Château Lafite. Nonetheless, it is home to some excellent châteaux making fine wines such as Cos d'Estournel, Montrose, Calon Ségur and Lafon Rochet.