x
  • Country ranking ?

    845
  • Producer ranking ?

    22
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • When to drink

    now to 2035
  • Food Pairing

    Filet with green peppercorn

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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Wine Spectator - J.S. - January 01, 1999

95 Points "A classy and impressive young Bordeaux from an appellation that stepped up in '96. Dark-colored, with plenty of currant and spice aromas, the wine is full-bodied, with very velvety tannins and allspice, berry and currant flavors. Long, long finish. One of the wines of the vintage, it's a beauty. Best after 2005."

 

International Wine Cellar - Steve Tanzer - May 1999

94 Points "Saturated deep ruby. Ineffable aromas of black fruits, minerals, licorice and Havana tobacco. Rich, dense and thick; powerful but harmonious. Layered texture over a strong backbone. Very long on the palate, with thoroughly ripe, noble cabernet tannins. Superb."

 

The Wine Advocate - Robert Parker - April 1999

93 Points "Made from 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot, this is a huge, backward wine. The 1996 possesses an opaque purple color, as well as pure aromatics consisting of cassis, grilled herbs, coffee, and toasty new oak. Massive in the mouth, and one of the most structured and concentrated young Cos d'Estournels I have ever tasted, this thick, structured, tannic wine has closed down significantly since bottling. It requires 7-8 years of cellaring, and should last for 30-35 years. It is a fabulous Cos, but patience is required. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2030."

 

 

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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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Wine Information

A great year.
During harvesting, the splendid fine weather alternated with slight rain showers. A young, intense colour. Good aromas of preserves and fruits. Exceptionally long in the mouth. Very silky tannins. A dazzling finish, full of flavour. Maturity: 2005 to 2025.
65% cabernet sauvignon
35% merlot

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Vintage 1996

The 1996s stand as a “classic” Bordeaux year, although – as Jancis Robinson MW has written – not in the “skinny” sense; although Farr Vintners’ director, Tom Hudson, told the drinks business that it was perhaps a “very good” rather than a “truly great” year as it wasn’t uniformly excellent across the region.

By way of a recap, 1996 was a particularly sterling vintage for Médoc wines. The Berry Bros & Rudd website extolls: “This is one of the great post-war vintages for Médoc Cabernet-based wines. They are rich, complex and beautifully balanced wines, packed with ripe, pure fruit and have the structure that will allow the top wines to age well into the next decade and beyond.”

The Right Bank by contrast are described as “distinguished” but “overshadowed” by the ‘95s – which was an especially good vintage for Saint Emilion and Pomerol.

It was also an excellent vintage for white Bordeaux.

Robert Parker’s scores tend to favour the Left Bank, though a few of the very best wines of the Right Bank received very respectable reviews as well.

Only two wines received 100-points: Lafite and Latour, Margaux was rated 99, Léoville Las Cases 98, Ducru Beaucaillou 96 and Pichon-Comtesse 96.

La Mondotte was the highest rated Right Bank wine on 97-points, Ausone was the next best rated on 93 as was L’Eglise Clinet, while Gomerie, Petrus and Le Pin settled for 92 and Cheval Blanc for 90.

With the passage of nearly 20 years, the wines have naturally appreciated and now that they are well into their drinking window demand will almost certainly begin to push prices up even further for the most in-demand among them.

The figures are often impressive, to date Lafite has seen a rise of 657.9% since its release, its second wine Carruades is up 592%, Latour has risen 437%, Petrus 400% and Pichon Baron 240%.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

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Written Notes

Served from a magnum bottle. You can compare it to other vintages ending with the “6” digit, but the fruit ripeness here was better than in 2006, and perhaps the complexity in 1996 was slightly more remarkable than in 1986. To be drunk by your children when they reach the legal drinking age.

  • 95p

Very smoky, with berry, coffee and tobacco aromas. Full-bodied, with polished velvety tannins, plenty of fruit and a cedary aftertaste. Tight and compacted.

  • 93p

Dark, ruby red in appearance, 1996 displays aromas of tobacco leaf, leather and blackcurrant on the nose.  The palate is savory and herbal with an earthy minerality and hints of tobacco smoke. 

  • 94p

Ruby. Dark fruits, cassis, some spices, prunes and figs nose. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, leaner, figs and prunes, leather, cherries, long. 91

 

  • 91p
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Information

Origin

St-Estèphe, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Outstanding

Value For Money

Very good

Investment potential

No Potential

Fake factory

None

Highlights

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