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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.


Vintage 1948

Bordeaux 1948: a fine vintage which had the misfortune of being located between two legendary vintages.

Weather Conditions: The weather conditions in Bordeaux during the 1948 growing season were challenging. The year began with a cold winter, followed by a late spring and a rather wet early summer. These conditions delayed budbreak and flowering, which in turn affected grape ripening. However, the weather improved in late summer, with a warm and dry period that allowed the grapes to ripen more fully. The harvest took place under favorable conditions, salvaging the vintage to some extent.

Bordeaux 1948 Reds: The red wines of Bordeaux from the 1948 vintage vary in quality. The wines typically display a ruby-red to garnet color with signs of aging, such as a brick or amber rim. On the nose, they offer a mix of dried fruits, cedar, tobacco, and earthy notes.

In the mouth, the 1948 Bordeaux reds are characterized by their medium body and soft, often resolved tannins. The acidity levels can vary, but some wines maintain a balanced structure. While the vintage does not consistently deliver the depth and concentration associated with Bordeaux's finest years, there are still well-preserved bottles that provide enjoyable drinking experiences, showcasing mature fruit and tertiary flavors.

Bordeaux 1948 Whites: The white wines of Bordeaux from the 1948 vintage also produced mixed results. These wines typically have a pale to medium gold color with aromas of honey, citrus, and hints of nuttiness. While they may lack the vibrancy and freshness of some other vintages, well-preserved bottles can still exhibit a certain charm and complexity.

Overall Impressions: The Bordeaux 1948 vintage is considered a mixed vintage in terms of quality. It is characterized by challenging weather conditions that impacted grape ripening and resulted in wines of varying degrees of maturity and complexity. 

For collectors and connoisseurs, the 1948 Bordeaux wines offer a glimpse into Bordeaux's resilience in the face of adversity. Some bottles have aged gracefully, and those that have been stored well can still provide enjoyable drinking experiences. However, it is important to approach this vintage with realistic expectations, as it may not consistently offer the depth and longevity associated with Bordeaux at its best.


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Written Notes

Very top shoulder fill, soaked cork. Ruby with brick rim. Figs, prunes, earthy, leather, raisins, some faint floral notes nose. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, fresh, red berries, cherry stones, detailed, mature, ever so slightly iodine in the finish with air, long. 94

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St-Estèphe, Bordeaux
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