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  • Weather

    24° C Overcast clouds
  • Time

    13:47 PM
  • Wine average?

    92.5 Tb
  • Country Ranking?

    125
  • Region Ranking?

    46
  • Popularity ranking?

    41

History

Cos d'Estournel is a relatively new property only being founded as late as the beginning of the 19th century by Louis Gaspard d'Estournel who had inherited a small parcel of land on his fathers death in 1791. He kept buying plots of land enlarging his holdings steadily. At first he had no real plan what to do with his land but one day in 1811 as he was looking towards his neighbour Château Lafite Rothschild, who at that time was the most renowned and expensive of all wines, he started to ask himself if he would not be able to produce great wines as well. Comparing the quality of the soil, the inclination of his land and the nearness to the river he realises for the first time the potential of property.

 

He was however forced to sell this the same year due to financial problems but was able to buy it back with the help of financial backers ten years later. With this new capital available to him he expanded the size of the property gradually from 12 hectares in 1821 to 57 hectares in 1847.

 

His second passion was to trade thoroughbred horses in the far east and also to import Arabian horses to France. He thought it may be a good idea to try to sell his wine to his contacts overseas thereby combining his two businesses. Considering that most of his potential customers were muslims it comes as no surprise that this business venture was unsuccesful. So, the unsold casks of wine were returned back to Bordeaux where a discovery was made that would help to increase the reputation of M. Estournels wines.

The wines of Bordeaux in those days were very different to the wines made today. They were, as a rule, harvested earlier and grapes with varied levels of maturity were vinified together without destalking beforehand. This made the wines very tough, acidic and difficult to drink young.

 

The heat and constant movement of the casks during the journey to the far east and back had accelerated the maturing process of the wines so that they now tasted considerably better than the wines being stored in Bordeaux. This made the wines of Cos so popular that M. Estournel now were shipping his wines to India and back before bottling them adding a labels stating "expédié par moi" and being signed by himself. He invested most of his money into extending the vineyards and to build the exotic cellars and chais that now adorn the labels. This fantasy with its chinese pagodas and triumphal arch were obviously inspired by his love of the far east. It is not clear whether he planned to build a château at one point or the other but soon his money ran out and he was forced to sell Cos a second time in 1852 before dying at the age of 91 the year after.

 

The new owner was an english banker by the name of  Charles Cecil Martyn who showed little interest in winemaking and so hired the owner of Château La Mission Haut Brion, Jérome Chiapella, to administer the property. This further increased the quality and reputation of the wines so that at the time of the Bordeaux Classification of 1855 it fetched prices comparable to those of the more ancient châteaux Rauzan, Pichon and Léoville and was accordingly classified as a Second Cru. Cos was to be sold to a M. Errazu who in turn sold it to the Holstein family who were also the owners of Château Montrose at the time.

 

 

In 1917 it was bought by Ferdinand Ginestet, the founder of the famous bordelaise négociant company. This was the first wine property they bought. Château Margaux and Petit Village were to follow.The family properties were divided in 1970 and Cos came into the hands of the Prats family through the marriage to Ferdinand Ginestet's daughter. Her son, Bruno Prats, managed Cos until 1998 when it was sold to the Taillan Group and in 2000 it was sold again, this time to the Société des Domaines Reybier. The management has however remained in the able hands of Bruno Prats son, Jean-Guillaume, since his his fathers retirement in 1998.

 

Bruno Prats made a number of improvements in the running of the property and its winemaking. It was during his time that Cos progressed from being a good second cru to that of  a "Super Second". The grapes were harvested a little later, a better control of the vinification, stricter selection and the more or less elimination of "vin de presse" led to a softer more elegant style of wine.

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Vineyards

The vineyard of Cos spreads around the château on 91 hectares.The Cabernet Sauvignon vines (60% of the vineyard) find the soil of their choice in the thin layers of gravely soil situated on the top and on the southern slopes of the hill. On the other hand, the Merlot vines (40% of the vineyard) excel on the eastern slopes and on the slopes where the Saint-Estephe limestone bed shows on the surface.

The percentage of Cabernet and Merlot varies from one vintage to another according to the year weather conditions, benefiting successively to the one or the other. Plantation is extremely dense (8000 to 10000 vines per hectare) and the average age of the vineyard is high (35 years old on the average) in order to enable the roots to extend excessively and to obtain a very slender yield per vine that will create the « Grand Goût »

Each vine grower is in charge of 45 000 vines on which they have got to undertake various labours every year. These cultural tasks are for most of them done manually. The harvest is of course manually picked too. And it is by hand that the grapes, once collected in special wooden baskets, will be strictly selected.

 

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Winemaking

The vinification process at Cos is adapted to the nature of the harvest, thereby enabling an optimum expression of the terroir; this has been further improved with our new cellar.Rigorous sorting of the grapes, pumping over through racking off by gravity with the help of four lift-operated vats and precise control of fermentation temperatures make it possible to obtain a selection of the softest tannins and maximum preservation of the fruit.

Maturing in new barrels made from prime merrain oak discretely highlights flavours and aromas with a well-balanced woodiness. Grapes from the youngest vines are blended to make Cos’s “second wine”, Les Pagodes de Cos. Our grand vin, Cos d’Estournel, spends eighteen months in barrels; our second wine, Les Pagodes de Cos, stays for twelve months.

A strict final selection reduces production to between 200,000 and 380,000 bottles depending on the vintage.

 

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4 different wines with 74 vintages

Highlights

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Cos d'Estournel . In a tasting of  31 wines 

The Finnish summer has not started yet - the sea is still cold (+14c) and it's raining every second day - but the colder the weather is, the better is the taste:)


Here are some summer wines I have tried between the showers.

1m 3d ago

 Omar Khan, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Cos d'Estournel . In a tasting of  30 wines 

Le Cinq "Wine Legends" Dinner with wines like Bouchard 1865, Beycheville 1899, DRC Conti 1940, DRC Richebourg 1942, Margaux 1928, Latour 1929, Mouton 1949, Petrus 1949, 1955, 1959, and 1966 etc.

1m 16d ago

 Andrew Caillard MW, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Cos d'Estournel . In a tasting of  21 wines 

In 2016 the resources available to winemakers is astonishing. Over the last twenty years, particularly, there has been a revolution to winemaking approach. Many of Bordeaux’s most prominent Chateaux have invested millions of Euros into the reconstruction of their wineries. Ch Calon Segur, Ch Beychevelle and Ch Pontet Canet are just a few that have been recently completed or in progress.


These have followed more high profile examples including Ch Margaux with its Sir Norman Foster designed winery, Ch Petrus, Ch Cheval Blanc, Ch Latour and Ch Montrose. Vineyard mapping drones, Grape hydro-coolers, sorting machines, gravity fed contraptions and stainless steel vats looking like large nespresso capsules are some of the expensive playthings of contemporary winemaking. Yet this equipment, rather than industrialising the process of vinification, is all about personalizing individual plots of land and taking a gentle approach to handling the fruit.

1m 18d ago

 Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Pro (China)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Cos d'Estournel . In a tasting of  13 wines 

My TOP Bordeaux from 2010 vintage / Deep ruby in colour, the Lafite has wonderful aromatics, with a gorgeous perfume of violets, cedar, cassis and blackberries. With its velvety tannins and layered, delicate flavours, there is a succulent juicy character to its fruit profile, accented with hints of violet. It is a gorgeous wine that is filled with delicate layers of flavours and at the same time is not heavy or dense. This is clearly a very successful vintage for Lafite in both style and intensity, producing a wine that will outlive the outstanding 2009. 100 points

2m 26d ago

 Andrew Caillard MW, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Cos d'Estournel . In a tasting of  24 wines 

The 2016 Bordeaux vintage will be remembered as one of the great years of the 21st Century. I have not been so excited about the prospects of such young wines since the remarkable back-to-back 2009 and 2010 vintages. At that time China was at the zenith of its extraordinary fine wine ascendency where the very top estates, particularly Chateau Lafite, had become a baksheesh currency. Every man and his dog, with a connection with government, curried favour or accepted gifts with Grand Cru Bordeaux, particularly First Growths. During this extraordinary time, the prices of Bordeaux started to move up at a more rapid speed than Sydney Real Estate. When we were filming Red Obsession in 2011 the Bordeaux wine market had become a classic bubble, even though the main actors still believed otherwise. Self-entitlement and denial always go hand in hand. Nonetheless, it has taken five years for the market to reset itself. Bordeaux is more confident again. Even interest from China has grown again. The market is now around 280 million Euros annually, which illustrates the resilience, power and track record of Grand Cru Classé Bordeaux wines.

2m 30d ago

 Izak Litwar / The most important Scandinavian Bordeaux Critic, Pro (Denmark)  tasted  3 wines  from  Château Cos d'Estournel . In a tasting of  161 wines 

Bordeaux 2016 vintage!

3m 24d ago

 Andrew Caillard MW, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Cos d'Estournel . In a tasting of  126 wines 

Every now and again one stumbles across a paradox that confounds the accepted natural order of things. The 2016 Bordeaux vintage was born out of a growing season that was near-catastrophe and near-perfection. After the Hesperian Dragon’s relentless torment, the Titan God Atlas had seemingly kept the sky aloft with the help of a Phoenix. Following five months of diabolical weather patterns, a warm to hot dry summer arrived in the nick of time, not only saving a vintage, but creating one of the most spectacular vintages in a lifetime.


 The sense of relief in Bordeaux must have been as thrilling as avoiding the bullet of Russian Roulette, or the adrenalin of surviving a base-jump. The razor’s edge has never been so exquisitely fine. While the end result is not always perfect, with the odd abrasions here and there, the overall quality of the 2016 Bordeaux vintage is remarkably consistent with many Chateaux making some of their best wines in 50 years. Typically, the wines have deep colours, pure fruit aromatics, generous saturated flavours, dense rich tannin structures and bell clear acidities. Precision, freshness, elegance, smoothness and “delicate opulence” are words that are being used by various Chateaux to describe their wines.


 The Bordelais are, of course, the world’s greatest spin doctors. They leave snake charmers for dead when it comes to the art of mesmerising. The newly opened and impressive Cité du Vin, which sits on the banks of the Garonne River in Bordeaux, sparkles like a polished turd; a monument to the exaggerations and optimism of this particular type of fine wine game. Momentum is achieved through belief. There is no room for wavering or self-doubt.

3m 27d ago

 Markus Del Monego MW / Best Sommelier in the World 1998, MW (Germany)  tasted  3 wines  from  Château Cos d'Estournel . In a tasting of  272 wines 

BORDEAUX VINTAGE 2016 / Tasting "en primeur" is a challenge every year. The wines tasted are showing a tendency only and it is still the beginning of a longer process of evolution and maturation in the barrels. There might be some changes during the next year and a half until the wines will be bottled, but already today the tendency is quite clear. For most of the red wines it will be an outstanding vintage, a vintage for Cabernet, old vines, limestone and clay soil. It was a challenging year for the vintners. An incredibly wet spring was worrying the winegrowers and at the beginning of June, the spirits were down. However warm and dry weather between June 3 and June 11 creating an close to ideal situation for the flowering and good weather conditions starting in mid June changed the nature of the vintage. The fine weather continued into July and August. The month of August was featuring hot weather and a remarkable amount of sunshine but the absence of rain let to water stress. Heavy rain in mid September set an end to water stress and when the sun returned on September 20 the vintage was saved as there was excellent weather till to the end of the harvest. The effects were various. the white wines are on a good quality level and display fruit and flavour but the acidity is lower than in previous vintages and the white wines show an opulent and rather soft style. The noble sweet wines are extremely pure and are more on the rich and powerful side than on the freshness. For the red wines originating from the right terroirs and old vines, the vintage an be called outstanding. Water stress was managed well on limestone and clay terroirs, Cabernet varieties did extremely well and old vines found water even during the stressful dry periods of summer. In some few red wines the tannins are slightly harsh, almost bitter, a result of water stress and/or intense extraction. In general the red wines are on an excellent level with an advantage for the left bank, mainly the Médoc area, and the classic great terroirs of Saint-Emilion and Pomerol. 

4m 3d ago

 Christer Byklum / Leading Scandinavian wine blogger, Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  3 wines  from  Château Cos d'Estournel . In a tasting of  75 wines 

In 2016 Pauillac has made some excellent wines and on the top, Mouton has made something very special and might be wine of the vintage competing with Petrus. Lots of estate has made excellent wines from Pauillac this year. Saint-Estephe has also made stunning wines and Cos d'Estournel has made one of the greatest wines I have ever tasted from them. Northern Médoc is far better in 2016 than in 2015, but for me, 2016 on a whole delivers more. 2015 for me eas a bit hyped even if the wines were very good indeed. 2016 probably has the edge over 2011 as well that is seriously undervalued in the market, but will give many some surprises for the future.

4m 5d ago

 Christer Byklum / Leading Scandinavian wine blogger, Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Cos d'Estournel . In a tasting of  64 wines 

98 wines tasted from Pomerol 2016 vintage, a stunning vintage for the appelation. Petrus might be the wine of the vintage, such finesse! But many others as well. Le Pin, La Conseillante, Clinet, Gazin, Petit Village, Lafleur, L'Evangile, VCC, La Fleur-Pétrus, Trotanoy, L'Eglise-Clinet and many more made stunning wines. Gazin made the best wine they ever did, same with Nenin. Pomerols are beyond seductive in 2016.

4m 11d ago

 Michael Jones, Wine Blogger (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Cos d'Estournel . In a tasting of  14 wines 

What a night! There were a couple of surprises at the top of my list of the ’82 reds: Cos d’Estournel (98) and Gruaud Larose (95). I know they are great wines in general, but to rise above this competition is a major accomplishment. Petrus (95), Haut Brion (93) and Pichon Lalande (93) rounded out my top five… not too surprising. Some of the wines seemed just slightly over the hill… perhaps losing some concentration and drying out. I think this accounts for some of the “disappointments”, if you can call wines of this quality disappointing. I’d be deliriously happy to drink any one of them (excluding the La Mission) at any time. Finally, the two whites – champagne & sauterne, were extraordinary and close to perfection.

6m 9d ago

 Mikke Frisk, Wine Collector (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Cos d'Estournel . In a tasting of  28 wines 

DRC Romanée-Conti 1961, Pétrus 1961, Unico 1961, Krug 1961, Château margaux 1961....etc.

6m 11d ago

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