St Estèphe enjoyed an excellent vintage in 2010. The vintage showed great promise early on and later at Vinexpo at an in-depth tasting of the appellation’s wines two years ago [see those notes here]. The MW Institute’s line up of five of the top properties of the appellation last November, albeit sans over-achiever Château Meyney, shows the wines to be living up to their potential. Almost all have much more to give with further bottle age. Château Montrose is full of power and weight, but also freshness. This is yet another Montrose with years of life ahead of it. Château Calon Ségur has produced beautiful Bordeaux that has the most wonderfully moreish texture. Château Cos d’Estournel was a little backward compared with the rest, and certainly compared to its own overt 2009, but there is greater freshness and typicity to Cos in 2010. Château Cos Labory has made another chewy, substantial wine. Qualitatively it rivals their fabulous 2009.
Posts Tagged ‘Chateau Cos d’Estournel’
The MW Institute’s Annual Claret tasting of over one hundred top chateaux held last November was a good opportunity to assess how the 2010 Bordeaux vintage is developing. There is no doubt that this is a great vintage for many reds. It has been pretty consistent from cask to bottle, a vintage generally much more classical than the precocious and forward 2009, but of similarly prodigious quality. Taken together these two vintages make an exceptional back-to-back duo for Bordeaux, especially so on the Left Bank and in Pessac-Léognan. The same can also be said for Sauternes and Barsac. Pomerol and St Emilion once again have made many excellent wines in 2010, often extremely well endowed and big framed, though sometimes too much so in St Emilion when they nudge sixteen degrees.
Overall St Estèphe was a little more variable than I’d expected in 2013. The wines are fresh, vigorous and pretty high in acidity. Some lack charm and there’s not the full-fat quality of the good years here. There are successes. I’ve posted already on Calon-Ségur, Château Cos d’Estournel, Château Meyney and Château Montrose, but Château Phélan Ségur looks nicely polished, Château Capbern Gasqueton is very pretty and I was particularly struck by Château de Pez. There are also solid efforts from Château Haut-Marbuzet, Château Tronquoy-Lalande, Château Le Crock and Château Ormes de Pez, though they lack the flair of the best vintages.
Aymeric de Gironde summed up the 2013 vintage perfectly: ‘Normally we make wine to make money, this year you needed money to make wine.’ Production at Château Cos d’Estournel was 50% down, a combination of reduced yields through poor flowering and strict selection at harvest. The grand vin is a bright, fresh effort with pleasing aromatics and a lightness of touch that speaks of the vintage. Pagodes de Cos has a salty mineral tang and attractive vibrancy. Neither are weighty St Estèphe. Cos Blanc is wonderful. A bit like Aile d’Argent at Mouton, it’s the supporting actor here that walks off with the Oscar.
Only five properties were shown from St Estèphe at the MW Institute event late last year but it included all the big guns: Cos d’Estournel, Calon Ségur and Montrose. Of these, Montrose showed real classicism with tremendous power and freshness. Cos seemed even thicker and richer than I remembered it. Let’s just say it continues to be an extremely bold winemaking statement. But Calon is the one that really does steal your heart. It has produced absolutely delicious Bordeaux in 2009. It is the star buy. Special mention also goes to Château Lafon-Rochet. It has made a wonderfully concentrated St Estèphe in this vintage.
Despite the vagaries of the vintage it would be a mistake to overlook St Estèphe in 2012. At the top end excellent wines have been made at Chateau Calon-Ségur, Chateau Cos d’Estournel and Chateau Montrose especially. Further down the chain there are values to be had if you pick carefully. I’ve written about the excellent effort at Chateau Meyney, but very fine wine has been made at Chateau Phélan-Ségur and there is a surprisingly good Chateau de Pez. The vintage can’t be compared to 2009 and 2010 but it’s probably better than the 2011 vintage here at least. Where the price is right, and in a few cases it is, you could consider some of these wines en primeur.