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The Story

The call of faraway lands. As mysterious and intriguing as a lone adventurer returning from a solitary sail, Cos d’Estournel is slow to reveal itself. Little by little, it evokes stories of distant places, market stalls brimming with unfamiliar fruits, spices and wares, village festivities warmed by the joy of revelers and the setting sun, and sumptuous visions of ladies and their voluptuous curves. A myriad of scents, colors and tastes appeals to the senses. The Grand Vin of Cos d’Estournel is both demure and deliberately sensuous, a fascinating and elegant nectar.


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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Vintage 1982

1982 - An exceptional year. Very abundant quantity.
A very deep colour, little developed. The bouquet does not reveal itself at once. The wine has much in store. On aeration, rich hints of very ripe fruit and spices develop. In the mouth, the wine is extremely dense and is perfectly harmonious but it does not yet express itself fully. The tannin is very well absorbed. May be drunk now but it can wait.
60% cabernet sauvignon 40% merlot – 70% new oak barrels.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

13 tasting notes

Tasting note


Mature and Brick red




Cherry, Plum, Cedar, Earthy, Truffles and Cassis


Complex and Seductive




Balanced, Complex, Full-bodied, Round, Harmonious, Refined and Silky tannins


Well made

Written Notes

The 1982 Cos d’Estournel (sourced from Chateau) has always been one of my pet 1982s, and its nose was again a knockout. It had a little bit of every aroma that I have written so far in this article; just add tobacco. It was a rich, spiny wine with great structure. There was real breed here and despite a little burnt rubber in the nose, there was also gorgeous jasmine and spice. Long and stylish, the Cos had a nutty finish
  • 95p

A moderately perfumed nose, with some spice, cedar and a hint of fruit. The wine come alive on the palate with rich, unctuous black cherry rolling through a long, long finish. Classic Bordeaux elements of leather and cedar in the background, allowing the sweet fruit to dominate. Very ripe and balanced- absolutely beautiful! Flaws? I couldn’t think of any except I would have like another glass! Parker rated 95, I’ll up the ante to 98. What is the difference between a 98 and 100, you ask? Good question… completely subjective and ephemeral- a Zen thing, perhaps. Maybe it needed just a bit more muscle – but that is asking for a lot out of a 28 year old wine. However, my gold standard for 100 points in a red wine is a 1961 Pierre Ponelle Musingy- “an otherworldly experience”- which I was recently privileged to taste once again. That Burgundy is perfection on my palate. The Cos is very, very close, but not quite there.

  • 98p

Ruby. Dark fruits, rich, plums, figs, leather, tobacco, intense and ripe nose. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, rich, fruity, ripe, rounded, exotic, long. 94

  • 94p
This has a lovely sensual bouquet, dark cherries, chestnuts, mushrooms and plums. The wine is harmonious, balanced, showing great typicity of the terroir and for the vintage. It has the tannic backbone, seamless acidity, elegant concentration, that the best 1982’s display. Some black cherry and fig on the mid palate, it builds towards a full, spice flecked, long, attractive finish that leaves you yearning for more. It is particularly accomplished with food, and the Bison and Foie couldn’t have been a better foil. This is probably best enjoyed (as you sense the very slightest fraying at the edges, at least from this bottle) in the coming decade.
  • 95p



St-Estèphe, Bordeaux


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