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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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6 different wines with 125 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 , Wine Writer (Denmark)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Cos d'Estournel . In a tasting of  24 wines 

Bordeaux 2021 / Suduiraut - potent, acacia honey, melon, mango, great complexity, structure and length on the palate, striking acidity, and sweetness make a great pair. Vibrant, refined and sophisticated. Fabulous stuff. 96p.

7d 15h ago

 Izak Litwar , Wine Writer (Denmark)  tasted  27 wines  from  Château Cos d'Estournel . In a tasting of  27 wines 

Out of 24 vintages of Cos d’Estournel, I tasted that evening, I haven’t had the opportunity to taste 11 of these - 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.
We tasted wines blind and knew which vintages we should taste but not in which order they appeared in wine glasses.

3m 25d ago

 Simone Hubert, Sommelier (France)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Cos d'Estournel . In a tasting of  20 wines 

1988 Bordeaux vintage tasting: Château Margaux 1988/Black fruits the nose has brooding richness the palate depth with black cherry and cassis backed by dark chocolate and liquorice. There is mid freshness balance the tannins integrated discreet but supporting. Depth of the fruit at the back the rich fruit gives way to freshness the finish is remarkably light and elegant.

5m 12d ago

 Andrew Caillard MW, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  3 wines  from  Château Cos d'Estournel . In a tasting of  15 wines 

Château Cos d’Estournel 2021 96–97 points / Deep crimson. Intense dark chocolate, blackcurrant brambly aromas with inky graphite notes. Superbly concentrated wine with deep-set pure blackcurrant, blackberry confit fruits, fine graphite/ vigorous textures, superb mid-palate density and underlying malty/ spicy oak. Very chocolaty with a leafy tannin plume. Superb fruit definition, complexity and precision. 64% cabernet sauvignon, 30% merlot, 4% cabernet franc, 2% petit verdot. 55% new French oak barriques. 12.74% alc

5m 17d ago

 Pekka Nuikki / Editor of the Fine Wine Magazines, Wine Writer (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Cos d'Estournel . In a tasting of  29 wines 

Lafleur 1950 / This was a fascinating bottle. It was in fine form,  and the level was top-shoulder. Decanted only 45 minutes. Light and feeble colour. Exposed and very seductive, fragrant, candied sweet bouquet. Flawless and silky, but also with a firm backbone of minerals. Rich and soft wine with drying fruit that echoes chocolate and coffee. Has lots of complexity, but requires fast drinking. Long and remaining at the end. Sensational, old-style refined Lafleur. 

5m 30d ago

 Christer Byklum , Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Cos d'Estournel . In a tasting of  45 wines 

2021 Château Margaux / Ruby. Cassis, blackberries, anise, floral, violets, spices, dark fruits, anise nose, nuanced, layered, scented and detailed. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, dark fruits, anise, spices, liquorice, nuanced, elegant texture, long finish. 13,1% alcohol. PH 3,64. 97-99

6m 15d ago

 Markus Del Monego MW/BWW2022-Best Germany Wine Critic of the World, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  5 wines  from  Château Cos d'Estournel . In a tasting of  745 wines 

This years "en primeur" tasting seemed like a journey in time. Bordeaux is back to a more moderate alcohol level and the style is lighter and more elegant. One could say the wines are reminiscent of the 80s, however made with more experience and the modern techniques today. It is not a powerful vintage. The wines are elegant, however the well made ones have an excellent persistence, depth and length. They offer a convincing potential for a long ageing and promote elegance in Bordeaux again. It is a true vintage of terroir although there is a lot of talk about a vintners vintage. However, terroir was the decisive factor in 2021.


Professor Axel Marchal has presented the 10 key points of this vintage on the occasion of the Union des Grands Crus press tasting:


"1. The start of the growing season was marked by severe frost on the 7th and 8th of April.


2. Wet and gloomy weather in May slowed down the vine growth although a providential window of fine weather helped flowering unfold in ideal conditions in early June.


3. Thunderstorms in June slowed down the onset of water stress.


4: Cool, dull weather in July increased the threat of vine diseases.


5. Véraison (colour change) was observed in mid-August, while vine growth had not stopped yet.


6. Thanks to a cool summer, the dry white wines are brilliant, lively and aromatic.


7. The wonderful Indian Summer allowed the red grape varieties to ripen in ideal conditions and preserved aromas.


8. The Merlots are fresh and aromatic while the Cabernets from the finest terroirs are well-structured with good balance.


9. The development of Botrytis cinerea in Sauternes was delayed by the cool summer and eventually triggered by rainfall in mid-September.


10. Despite low yields, the botrytised sweet white wines are of excellent quality."


It will be exciting to see the evolution of this vintage which produced in many cases yields on a very low scale. Arguably it will be a vintage praised for it finesse in the future. A vintage rated on finesse and persistence rather than on sheer power and opulence.

6m 18d ago

 Roger Voss, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Cos d'Estournel . In a tasting of  12 wines 

Château Pétrus 2020 Barrel Sample (Pomerol); 98–100 points. Spice and black fruit aromas shine in this powerful wine. The density of the texture and the concentrated fruits are seamless in their power. Yet, at the same time, the wine has refreshing acidity at the end that puts everything on a pedestal. It is the summation of Pétrus.

10m 14d ago

 Jeff Leve, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Cos d'Estournel . In a tasting of  20 wines 

2020 Bordeaux is the grand finale of the never-before-experienced, three consecutive run of great vintages. Yes, there has been a few back-to-back double plays, but this is the first time Bordeaux has ever experienced a full hat trick. There are differences in the vintages, which will become more apparent as the wines age and evolve. Each vintage is unique. Perhaps 2020 is closest to 2018, for its opulent, velvet drenched, sensuous style.  Though, it is important to note that you also find freshness, lift and elegance. Here is something to consider about 2020, alcohol levels are lower for many estates, which is surprising with hot, dry years like 2020.

11m 28d ago

 Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Wine Writer (South Korea)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Cos d'Estournel . In a tasting of  29 wines 

1982 is an iconic vintage for Bordeaux, and for many wine lovers, it’s a reference point as a modern, ripe year that was delicious from the onset. The top wines are still holding up well and show no signs of fading. However, some of the lesser wines are starting to show its age. This ripe vintage has given us a wide drinking window, regardless of the specific appellation and terroir. For those that still have some top 1982 Bordeaux in your cellar, there is no rush to pull the cork. A long life ahead awaits these beauties.

1y 22d ago

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