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News

Cos d’Estournel to launch luxury ‘COS100’ wine

The new wine, named COS100, is made from a parcel of 100 year-old Merlot vines planted at Cos d’Estournel by women during the First World War.

The wine, named ‘COS100’, comes from the Bordeaux 2015 vintage and will only be available in large format bottles. Only 100 double magnums (3 litres) and 10 balthazars (12 litres) were bottled – by hand – from two barrels.

‘With COS100, I want to pay tribute to the terroir, and to acknowledge the women who, more than a hundred years ago, courageously worked in the vineyard to ensure the continuity of the estate,’ Cos d’Estournel owner and businessman Michel Reybier was quoted as saying in French financial paper Les Echos

In 1915, most male vineyard workers were fighting or had died on the Western Front during the First World War.

According to Les Echos, two balthazars of the cuvee will be up for grabs at Sotheby’s auctions in New York and Hong Kong on 28 February. 

A further two double magnums and elephant scultpures will also be for sale. All money gained from the lots will go to Elephant Family, a charity that protects Asian elephants and their habitat.  The elephant forms part of the Château’s brand image. 

The château – considered by many industry commentators to be part of a handful of top-quality “super second” growth producers – was built with an oriental twist.  It’s original owner, Gaspard d’Estournel, was known as the ‘Maharajah of St-Estèphe’. He founded the estate in 1811. 

Further bottles of COS100 will be available through the château’s website. Prices were available to customers on request, the estate said. 


 

 

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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 80 vintages

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Wine Moments

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

 Izak Litwar / The most important Scandinavian Bordeaux Critic, Pro (Denmark)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Cos d'Estournel . In a tasting of  36 wines 

Primeur tastings of the 2017 vintage: I spent 2.5 weeks in Bordeaux in April, before primeur week, during primeur week and after primeur week, tasting app. 400 samples of 2017 and app. 100 wines from other vintages.


So what’s the deal with 2017 vintage? It’s clear that it is winemaker’s vintage. Those who vinified carefully and didn’t fall in the trap of harvesting too late or too early, pushing extraction too much and using too much new oak, made some stunning wines. Imho, 2017 is similar in quality to 2014 vintage but without the roughness of tannin of this vintage. Fruit is riper in 2017 and tannin too compared to 2014, the silkiness and velvety texture reminds me of 2012 and 2016, freshness and acidity is like in 2014. There is a lot of charm, elegance and finesse in many wines. Generally, 2017 has not same level of density, concentration and complexity as 2015 and 2016, but wait a minute…..some properties managed to touch the level of 2015 vintage!


It’s very interesting to see many different styles of winemaking in 2017. You can clearly recognize the direction a given chateau goes towards. It’s also great to see some chateaux leave the modern way (big extraction and excess of new oak) of making wines and go back to more expressing character of the soil and traditional style of wine from given district/commune.


My feeling is that Pauillac and Saint Estephe together with Pomerol have been the most consistent wine producing areas in Bordeaux and made the best wines in 2017 among red wines. Saint-Emilion, Margaux, Pessac-Leognan and Saint-Julien are close, but significantly more irregular. Dry whites and dry sweet are significantly better that their counterparts in 2016 and 2015 and are imho on the level of 2013 vintage, which was very successful for whites in Bordeaux.


At the time of writing this report (end of April 2018), several chateaux came out with 2017 prices and it seems that 20% down on 2016 prices could be a reality and trend to follow. Let’s hope so.

16d 19h ago

 Christer Byklum / Leading Scandinavian wine blogger, Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Cos d'Estournel . In a tasting of  13 wines 

2017 L'Extravagant de Doisy Daëne - 100p / Pale golden. Peach, apricots, pineapples, focused and linear, nuanced nose. Fresh acidity, nuanced, detailed, playful, marvelous acidity actually, bright, layered, subtle yet intense, mouthwatering, incredible length. Sauternes of the vintage once again. This is incredibly pure and filigree. The utter greatness of this one can be difficult to detect. If you ever get to try it. Enjoy it while meditating. The energy in this one is in a class of its own. 

18d 20h ago

 Zhao Dao Lee / Wine Importer, Wine Importer (China)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Cos d'Estournel . In a tasting of  27 wines 

Latour 2017 is an extraordinary wine, it is a shining example of the best its appellation can produce. The wine is deep in colour and has a concentrated, powerful bouquet. It is full-bodied on the palate, with a strong personality. An eminently attractive wine!

1m 8h ago

 Markus Del Monego MW / Best Sommelier in the World 1998, MW (Germany)  tasted  2 wines  from  Château Cos d'Estournel . In a tasting of  88 wines 

2017 is a vintage bringing back Bordeaux to its roots, offering a very classic wine style with lower alcohol levels than in the previous years but with often excellent aromatic expression. 2015 and 2016 have surely been better vintages than last year, but based on a first impression 2017 seems to be better than 2014. The evolution will show, that 2017 is far from becoming a "forgotten vintage". Some nice surprises will be waiting for us.

1m 6d ago

 Guillermo Cruz, Sommelier (Spain)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Cos d'Estournel . In a tasting of  19 wines 

Romanée Conti 2009 / This full-bodied, hugely dense, powerful, and highly expressive offering is jam-packed with liquorice, mint, eucalyptus, and cherry syrup. Impeccably balanced, opulent, forward, yet restrained and exceptionally well-structured, this massive, refined wine will provide exceptional drinking over the course of the next 30 years. 99p

1m 14d ago

 Will Gardener / Nickolls & Perks, Wine Dealer (United Kingdom)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Cos d'Estournel . In a tasting of  17 wines 

Château Duhart-Milon 2016 / Great deep colour, soy, irony inky-edged nose, lovely perfume, touch of earth and black cherry, the initial impact is salty minerality, this quite tight knit with plenty of fine grained spicy tannins, the oak is apparent too, white pepper, this is a big traditional style seems to lack a little of the plumpness of some, quite linear with plenty of muscle and power. That is Duhart...

3m 23d ago

 Will Gardener / Nickolls & Perks, Wine Dealer (United Kingdom)  tasted  2 wines  from  Château Cos d'Estournel . In a tasting of  35 wines 

2015 was overall a very dry year, with hydric stress a major concern in July. August brought welcome relief, rejuvenating the water table and unblocking the evolution. By this time, when veraison (the change of colour) took place, the berry size had already been set – small with thick skins. This is where the vintage’s tell-tale ripeness and silky textures come from.


The harvest conditions were ideal, again generally dry with cool nights, helping shape the vintage’s freshness and aromatics. The merlot crop would be picked in ideal conditions and at the vigneron’s leisure, aiming for optimum ripeness per plot. Many of the top châteaux now have the means to dissect and elevate dozens of different plots independently, all helping to improve the final assemblage. At Cheval Blanc we spoke with the technical director Pierre Olivier Clouet, who explained that they had taken practically a whole month to pick, with the result being almost every plot at perfect ripeness.


Each plot is fermented separately. Barrel samples of each are blended together in many different combinations and tasted blind to select which blend works best for the first and second wines. The final assemblage for the first wine consisted of all the plots except two that were ultimately discarded and sold off in bulk. And so for the first time since 1988 there will be no second wine at Château Cheval Blanc, a tribute to the overall consistency and quality of the harvest.


This is extraordinary scenario but a familiar tale in this vintage. In


general the percentage of first wine was comparatively high at most


châteaux and so there should be good volumes.

6m 3d ago

 Christer Byklum / Leading Scandinavian wine blogger, Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  2 wines  from  Château Cos d'Estournel . In a tasting of  100 wines 

1928 Château d'Yquem; Huge expectations, the best wine I've had, 28 Suduiraut, if there is a wine to beat it..... Difficult to read label, cork states quite clearly Yquem, Lur-Saluces, 1928. B/C level fill, above mid shoulders. Pale amber with broad green yellow rim. Nuts, apricots, apple, lemon, raisins, minerals and even schistes. A glorious, layered and transparent in the best sence of the word mix of mature and more youthfull flavours. Perfect balance in a different league, great acidity, such finesse, pineapples comming to join the elegant party, even coconut and papaya, acidity is tender, doing its job gracefully like the queen greeting her guests. Gorgeous length. Minutes again. But this bottle do not beat the Suduiraut, and that is mainly because of the Suduirauts length and even better freshness. The 28's seems to be marvels! 99

6m 16d ago

 Jan-Erik Paulson, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Cos d'Estournel . In a tasting of  20 wines 

This was a fabulous lunch. Six vintages each of Dom Perignon, Roederer Cristal and Veuve Clicquots Grande Dame followed by 12 Bordeaux from 1986. I preferred Dom P in most vintages. The premier crus are good in 1986 but many others are getting too tannic as the fruit dries up.

9m 18h ago

 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.

10m 10d 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.

10m 23d ago

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