- Château Cos d'Estournel
- St Estèphe
- Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot / Cabernet Franc
- Case size
- En Primeur
Neal Martin, May 2021,
The 2020 Cos d’Estournel is a very different proposition to the Les Pagodes, more so than in other years. Much more intense on the nose of intense black fruit, it is beautifully defined, with enticing scents of blackberry, Dorset plum and topnotes of blueberry and briar. After 30 minutes in the glass, it develops more Saint-Estèphe-like traits: freshly tilled soil, cigar box and touches of warm gravel. There is an openness to these inviting aromatics. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins (so different from the "iron girders" of yore). There is freshness and a sense of light in this Cos d’Estournel, though the backbone remains in situ on the cedar and mint finish (a nod to neighboring Pauillac, perhaps), then a lingering marine/seaweed note on the aftertaste. This is a finely crafted, very succinct Cos d’Estournel that may well be hiding something up its sleeve for after bottling, and I suspect it will gain more spine during its barrel aging. Drink 2025 - 2060
Antonio Galloni, June 2021,
The 2020 is a gorgeous wine from a very unusual year in which the Merlot is a bit more prominent in the blend than usual because of dehydration in the Cabernet. Even so, the 2020 is a wine of mid-weight finesse more than opulence. All the elements are impeccably balanced throughout. Drink 2030 - 2050
Wine Advocate, May 2021,
The 2020 Cos d'Estournel is composed of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon and 38% Merlot. The harvest took place September 10–24 with a yield of 39 hectoliters per hectare. The alcohol weighs in at 13.46% with a pH of 3.9 and an IPT (total phenolic index) of 80. It is being aged in French oak barrels, 55% new. Deep purple-black in color, it pops with explosive scents of ripe red and black currants, black cherry preserves and black raspberries, followed by sparks of violets, wild sage, pencil lead and clove oil, with emerging hints of iron ore and damp soil. The medium-bodied palate has amazing elegance and grace contrasted by jaw-dropping energy, featuring a firm frame of finely grained tannins and just enough freshness, finishing with a whole firework display of mineral nuances. I love the way this Cos d'Estournel shimmies and shines—a unique vintage signature expressed so beautifully at this estate! Drink 2028-2060
Decanter, May 2021,
You need to take a little time to let the concentrated flavours seep out, this is a long hauler. The tannins build slowly but surely through the palate, sombre and serious right now, particularly for an estate that is known for its exuberance. The opulence is there if you give it time, and as the tannins elongate and relax, richer notes of bilberry fruits, toasted cedar, salted chocolate, turmeric and black pepper spice arrives. Harvest September 10 to 24. A 3.9pH is the highest since 2003, but any threat of low acidity is balanced by high tannins, and relatively low alcohol. A yield of 39hl/ha (43hl/ha in 2019). Drink 2027-2044
Matthew Jukes, April 2021,
62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot. 55% new oak. 13.46% alc. 39 hl/ha. 3.90 pH. 80 IPT. When you peruse the statistics above you will notice that the standout ‘stat’ is the alcohol level – a full 1% lower than the ‘perfect’ (in my eyes) 2018 vintage. I love ‘lower alcohol’ (this should really read ‘classical alcohol’) level vintages and the Left Bank wines in 2020 seem, on the whole, to live in among the 13s and this is very exciting indeed. There is always a little more drama on the palate with keenly refreshing vintages, and especially with Cabernet-dominant wines, and while this wine is 13.5% alcohol, the tannin index still manages to register a powerful 80-score. So, before tasting, I was hoping for a fascinating and uniquely Cos-style interpretation of this challenging 2020 vintage. I am thrilled to report that this wine sings in the glass and it gives me everything and more that I was hoping for. Commanding and precise, this is a phenomenal performance with tenderness balanced by impressive timbre. With a classically dimensioned, medium-weight frame and, dare I say it, a pitch and intensity akin to an elite Barolo (by that I mean pinpoint accurate tannins and epic acidity weighted perfectly for a medium-weight, not blockbuster wine), this is a stunning wine which is midnight black in colour, but fabulously lifted and expressive on the palate. This wine’s silhouette and ethereal nature seem like it has jumped back in a time machine to the forties or fifties, its clarity of fruit is very much a wine of the modern era. Minutes after tasting this wine I still found myself marvelling at the power to weight ratio while my taste buds were still resonating from the noble Cabernet theme and exquisite freshness of the tannins which is a signature of great Cos vintages.
Jancis Robinson, April 2021,
Purple-black colour to the rim. Deep and dense (like an endless pool) but aromatically restrained. Some cassis with aeration. Big and bold with marked tension and supercharged but finely hewn tannins. Enough fruit to provide unctuosity. Fresh, dry and saline through to the finish. Powerful but sculpted. Very long ageing. (JL) 13.5%. Drink 2030–2055
Wine Cellar Insider, May 2021,
Deep garnet in hue, the wine shoots from glass with tobacco leaf, currants, spice box, cigar wrapper, blackberry and cassis. Elegant, fresh and vibrant, the wine is silky, long and precise. There is a cool spicy note that rides along with all the layers of soft, polished fruits on the mid-palate and in the finish. This is a refined vintage for COS. You find lower alcohol and the wine feels more energetic on the palate and in the finish, even though the pH is high at 3.9. Let it sleep for at least a decade before popping a cork. Produced from a blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon and 38% Merlot, 13.46 % ABV, the harvest took place September 10 to September 24.
Château Cos d'Estournel
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.