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Cos d'Estournel is a vineyard and winery in the Saint-Estèphe appellation of the Médoc. In the 1855 Classification, it was classified as a second growth and remains one of the most prominent and sought-after of all Bordeaux wines. Historically, the Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant grand vin has had a high percentage of Merlot compared with other Médoc growths, although this has lessened in recent years. Cos d'Estournel is dark, brooding and tannic when young, developing complexity and intensity with time.
The estate is situated in the very south of Saint-Estèphe, just north of Pauillac's Lafite Rothschild. The south-facing vineyard slopes gently down to the Jalle du Breuil stream which separates it from Lafite. In old Gascon, "cos" means "hill of pebbles", and the vineyard does consist of deep Quaternary gravels and clay on limestone bedrock.
AOC Saint-Estephe, Bordeaux
(2012)75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc
(2011)65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc
(2010)78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc
The 2012 Cos d'Estournel has a deep garnet-purple color and reveals expressive black cherries, black raspberries and red and black plums scents with subtler notes of cassis, menthol, pencil lead and cigar box plus a touch of lavender. Medium-bodied and elegantly styled, with a rock-solid frame of chewy tannins, it delivers a lively lift on the long finish. This is a lovely wine with slightly chewier tannins and less stuffing than the 2011.
The deep garnet-purple colored 2011 Cos d'Estournel gives up compelling notes of roasted nuts, black cherry compote, blueberry pie and red and black currants with touches of yeast extract and smoked meats. Medium to full-bodied, very firm, grainy textured and with a great core of youthful black fruits, the palate reveals loads of savory layers on the very long finish. This is very youthful and slowly maturing—a very impressive showing for this vintage!
Deep garnet in color, the 2010 Cos d'Estournel unfurls slowly, measuredly, releasing delicate notes of dried mulberries, stewed plums and blackcurrant pastilles before giving way to notions of potpourri, black cherry compote and chocolate box plus touches of dried sage, tobacco and new leather. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a rock-solid foundation of very firm, grainy tannins and very lively acidity supporting the remarkable intensity of tightly wound fruit layers, finishing very long and fragrant. Give it another 4-5 years in bottle and this will be stunning!