A blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot. This was quite reserved at the time of tasting, so one of the harder wines to assess. There is definitely no shortage of fruit, and based on the extraordinary class of the Grand Vin, this has real potential to develop. I look forward to retasting. DR
The 2016 Les Pagodes de Cos is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46.5% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and a splash of Cabernet Franc, delivering 13.02% alcohol and matured in 30% new oak. It has an intense bouquet with aromas of blackcurrant, bilberry, graphite and a touch of sea salt (just a nod to the Gironde Estuary perhaps?). The palate is medium-bodied with crisp tannin, quite sleek in the mouth with plenty of black fruit tinged with graphite. It has a little more persistence compared to the 2015 Pagodes last year from barrel, very harmonious with a twist of bitter black cherry and tobacco on the finish. Very fine—drink from two or three years in bottle. Rob,
50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46.5% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 0.5% Cabernet Franc. Picked 26 September to 15 October. Fresh, muscular, racy nose. Sweet start – really rather flirtatious! Racy and elegant. But not for the long term. 13.02% Drink 2023-2032
The brightness and focus to this second wine of Cos are certainly impressive. You can see the quality. Full body, a tight and focused palate and beautiful fruit and density. Ultra-fine tannins. Gorgeous. Sophisticated.
An attractive second wine, the 2016 Les Pagodes de Cos is built on finesse and nuance rather than power. Silky and gracious from the outset, the Pagodes is quite expressive today. In 2016, it has a bit more Cabernet Sauvignon than Merlot, yet it remains quite understated in style. Grilled herbs, smoke, leather and tobacco infuse the delicate, lilting finish in this attractive, midweight Saint-Estèphe.
There is more tension here than expected and this wine appears more tart and not as exotic or as perfumed as it has been in years gone by. This is a Pagodes vintage that requires some ageing. There is a lift of fruit on the finish and some breeding which endeavours to carry it to the next level but it is too early to tell. This is a different shape and it has a slimmer line and it is more of a terroir-driven style of Pagodes. There are some nice highlights of red fruit found on the finish but you must be patient for it to perform.
Just over half of the crop at Cos went into the second wine in 2016, with most of it from the same plots as usual. Subtly oaked and graceful, it’s a St. Estèphe-meets-Margaux style that’s a world away from what the château produced in 2009. Scented, poised and refined. 2022-30
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.