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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.
Looking more closely at the decade, attention should also be drawn to the 1950 Bordeaux vintage, which offered more quantity than quality - with a few exceptions. Due to the relatively rainy summer, expectations for the year were not very high, but the change in weather at the end of the year made it a good year, and even excellent in some areas. The wines did not have the full and balanced character of the previous year. They were rather noted for their very tannic quality. But the wines have matured with surprising grace. Many wines became more harmonious as the tannins faded.
Two vintage gems are the Cheval Blanc and the Pétrus. On the other hand, Graves La-Mission-Haut-Brion is an exceptional wine. Although the best wines are at the peak of their drinkability right now, they will remain there for years to come. Due to the large harvest and very modest reputation of the vintage, these wines can be found at very affordable prices.