I was very impressed with Chateau Calon-Ségur and Chateau Cos d’Estournel in the St Estèphe appellation at the MW 2008 tasting last month. Calon was really fragrant and charming and looks like a good buy. Cos was full and rich and for young St Estèphe, it was pretty open and approachable already. There is a lot of fat fruit in the wine which made it feel generous, almost supple, by comparison with others in the appellation.
Chateau Montrose was completely the opposite of Cos. This is a brooding, backward 2008, and very dumb currently. It felt caught off guard, seemingly woken from a deep slumber and it was more than a little resentful. It could do with three hours in a decanter or better still a decade in the cellar. Chateau Lafon-Rochet was dense and compact, with plenty of fruit and structure, but with plenty of acid too. Chateau Cos Labory has shown better. It was more developed than Lafon-Rochet on the nose but felt hard on the palate. I would have liked to have seen Chateau Ormes de Pez, de Pez and Phélan Ségur too but these were not on display. The 2008 Ormes de Pez looked very strong when I last tasted it two years ago at the UGCB and I picked up a case a few weeks later.
Chateau Calon-Ségur 2008
Mid depth; dark at core; not black; rose petal, cassis, blackcurrant, leafy notes; very complex and enticing; palate mid weight, nicely balanced with acid and sufficient flesh. Nice polish to the palate. Works very well indeed. 92+
Chateau Cos d’Estournel 2008
Mid depth; dark core; substantial slightly worked feel to the nose; some resin, spice, plums, meaty note; palate open and the most full here in St Estèphe; generous and supple. Lots of extract and chew here. Nice length and grip. Very good. 93+
Chateau Cos Labory 2008
Goodish depth; quite fine nose, elegant, some development, little lift; blackcurrant and cassis on the palate; pretty firm and grippy. Bit hard on the finish. Has shown better. 86
Chateau Lafon-Rochet 2008
Mid depth; deeper at core than Cos Labory; more layers to the nose; quite pure with mineral tones; compact; texture to the palate but still pretty firm, and chewy with plenty of acid present. 87+
Chateau Montrose 2008
Dark and brooding; deep colour; closed and dumb on the nose; quite bold palate with blackcurrant notes; lots of chew and tannin [ripe enough]; nice length here but very backward and shut down. Be interesting to see how this develops. Calon-Ségur and Cos d’Estournel are more flattering now. 90+