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Bordeaux 2015: Château Cos d’Estournel

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

IMG_0876I think Château Cos d’Estournel just has it this year. It will be a close run thing I’m sure, but at this early stage it fractionally pips Château Montrose in producing the finest  St Estèphe in 2015. Undoubtedly this is the best wine made here since Aymeric de Gironde took over the day-to-day running of this Michel Reybier owned estate in 2012. Last year the 2014 was impressive, but this year Cos 2015 has a plush voluptuousness that is irresistible. The purity is dazzling, the precision remarkable. This wine belies the patchy September weather here that literally rained on St Estèphe’s parade.

The investment at Cos since Michel Reybier bought the estate in 2000 has been prodigious. Since then, allied to some Bordeaux’s greatest recent vintages, Cos has produced its best ever [and most controversial] wines. It shows itself to be at the avant garde of Bordeaux’s very elite and ultra-competitive top tier of left bank estates.

The property reports a growing season in 2015 that started slowly but surely, which was then later characterised by drought and hot weather that lasted through to the end of July. Flowering was uniform and occurred in very good conditions. Veraison was delayed by the water deficit and heat, but as elsewhere, rain in August allowed for this to be completed successfully [by August 10 at Cos]. The terroir here seems to have coped well with the inclement weather in September around harvest time, which has undoubtedly held St Estèphe back overall in comparison with other left bank appellations in 2015. The other key thing here has been selection. Château Cos d’Estournel itself only represents 39% of the crop. Still Pagodas, the second wine, is no particular slouch. It displays plenty of ripe, appetising fruit.

Cos Blanc goes from strength to strength. This is a Sauvignon Blanc/Sémillon blend, now in its tenth year of production. It comes from vineyards not on the Cos property but from vines situated close to the Gironde estuary further up in the Médoc [close to those vineyards that go into the red Goulée blend]. Around 8000 bottles are made and the white is fermented entirely in oak but only 15% of which is new. The wine is aged on its lees and usually bottle in June. 2015 is a lovely vintage for Cos Blanc.

The following wines were tasted at Château Cos d”Estournel with Aymeric de Gironde, Cos’s managing director and Dominique Arangoits, the technical director, on Monday April 4, 2016. At the time we lightheartedly discussed the remote possibilities of the UK leaving the EU and Donald Trump landing up in the White House…..

Pagodes de Cos, St Estèphe

Deeply coloured; reddish purple at the edge; opaque at centre; pretty and ripe; focused; cherries; nice spices and black fruits too; very appetizing; nice entry; more concentration clearly but with charm and harmony; lots of grip and chew here. Length. [46% Merlot, 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot, 13.1% alc, TA 3.0, pH 3.75, IPT 57, 30% new oak yield 44hl/ha]. Drink 2023-2030. 91-93

Château Cos d’Estournel, Grand Cru Classé, St Estèphe

Dark at centre; colour close to the edge; seriously deep with a voluptuous edge; black fruits; dark cherries, some spice – a lovely seam of pure fruit here; plushness on the palate; very clean and cool entry; lots of layers; pretty voluptuous effort this. Best Cos since 2010 I reckon. Drink 2024-2040. 96-97+

Château Cos d’Estournel Blanc, Bordeaux Blanc

Silver/white; saline quality; oyster shell and mineral tones [harvested between Sept 14 – 29]; lees and grapefruit characters; lovely weight in the mouth – very round and textured; excellent white wine. [75% Sauvignon Blanc, 25% Sémillon, 15% new oak, 13.7% alc, TA 4.5, pH 3.1, yield 29 hl/ha]. Drink 2017-2025. 93-95+

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