Château Cos d’Estournel vertical

by Izak Litwar

Out of 24 vintages of Cos d’Estournel tasted that evening, I haven’t had the opportunity to taste 11 of these before - 2012, 1998, 1996, 1995, 1988, 1982, 1981, 1977, 1973, 1926 and 1916. The “missing” vintages significantly extended my knowledge of Cos and my understanding of this property’s style. The mix of power and elegance is thrilling! This 2nd CC from St. Estephe is one of Bordeaux classiest and terroir-driven wines. 

The white Cos, 2013 and 2018, were purchased at the chateau, and the 2009 white Cos plus all the reds were purchased at different auctions/wine shops. Wines were tasted blind.

TOP 5 Red Wines:

Cos d’Estournel 2009 98+p
This is an excellent vintage for Cos. Intense and aromatic nose of black fruit with the scent of yoghurt, distinguished and classy. Luscious blackcurrants, grained tannin, great acidity, highly complex and very long on the palate. Silky with great elegance. Absolutely nothing to complain about here. Perfect modern Bordeaux with great style. One to enjoy over many years to come. 

Cos d’Estournel 2015 98p 
Very aromatic on the nose with fully ripe blackcurrants, creamy and luscious on the palate with fat and ripe tannin. Juicy and lively. A considerable amount of oak was kept quiet by plenty of flashy fruit. Great complexity, splendid structure and a long meaty finish. This wine will surely gain even more complexity in the coming years—mesmerizing wine.

Cos d’Estournel 1982 98p
Counted among the best vintages in Bordeaux’s history and one, that after 40 years, still keeps its fine ingredients intact. Cos was a peach of the wine with gorgeously intense Cabernet Sauvignon displaying leather, cedar and tobacco leaf. Plenty of creamy blackcurrants and grained tannin plus sweetness. Vibrant, refined and sophisticated. In full blossom. Can live forever!

Cos d’Estournel 1998 96p
This vintage in Bordeaux was blessed by sunny weather and incredibly successful at Right Bank, with many magical wines produced. Left Bank wines hadn’t been largely successful. But Cos contradicted this postulate and was a badass wine. Intense on the nose and palate with creamy blackcurrants, mineral, delicate acidity, sweet tannins and great complexity. Vibrant and lovely structure. Long lingering finish.

Cos d’Estournel 1985 96p
My first Bordeaux vintage to be experienced live on-site in September 1985. Perfect sunny weather through the harvest. Despite huge yields, the wines from this vintage have kept exceptionally well. It was called a feminine vintage by several wine critics, but it’s not entirely correct, imho. Cos expressed this vintage's grace, elegance and sweetness beautifully but the power as well.  Roasted bacon, milky, black winter truffles, sensual, great acidity, bright complexity, sophisticated touch and long lingering aftertaste. I had a slightly better example of this wine in 2015, but no complaints here!

Read the full tasting report, click here




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