Five wines from St Estèphe were shown by the MW Institute in December 2021. Château Montrose [pictured left a few years ago during primeurs] and Château Calon Ségur are both knockout, but contrasting. Calon Ségur is flamboyant with opulent aromatics. The wine is plush on the palate but the sweet fruit hides a considerable structure. It’s a case of the iron fist in the velvet glove. Montrose by contrast is all brooding power and depth, with layer upon layer of concentrated blackcurrant and cassis fruit. Château Cos d’Estournel is beautifully pure with lots of energy and life. It will also be a great wine. Behind these three estates that dominate the appellation, Château Lafon Rochet has produced a structured, solid St Estèphe that needs a bit more time. Château Cos Labory has attractive freshness but doesn’t have the depth of the others.
Posts Tagged ‘Chateau Cos d’Estournel’
It’s taken me a while to post these notes on seventy-three wines from the MW Institute’s horizontal 2016 Bordeaux tasting held at the very end of 2021. Looking back on the notes I’m reminded quite what a unique vintage this is. In a decade with at least three other contenders to greatness [2010, 2018 and 2019 – with 2015 also very good] what really impresses in 2016 is the breadth of quality across all Bordeaux’s red appellations and the balance in the wines. They have ripe fruit, juicy acidities and great textures. They are extremely moreish. There’s not the over-extraction that was more common in 2010, nor the exaggerated ripeness of some 2018s, nor the hefty alcohols you can find in the 2019s [though ’19 is a truly wonderful vintage]. Many of these ’16s are well under 14% [with exceptions in St Emilion and Pomerol]. It makes this a Bordeaux vintage to drink without fearing a blinding headache. That said many of the wines have retreated into their shells a fair bit since bottling. You will want to wait to broach wine from Pauillac, St Julien and definitely St Estèphe. Many in St Emilion and Pomerol are now starting to drink well, along with the top wines from Pessac-Léognan. Still there’s no hurry at all really as these wines are so well balanced and fresh. So, what were picks of the MW tasting?
Tasting fourteen wines from St Estèphe shows just what a wonderful vintage this is for many properties here in 2019. There is plenty of lush fruit on offer and these are wines with lots of extract, big, ripe tannins and considerable alcohol. I have already posted on Château Cos d’Estournel and Château Calon Ségur, which have both produced brilliant St Estèphe. I was also struck by the quality at Château Lafon Rochet, which has produced a wine of sophistication and class in this vintage. What great strides have been made here by Basile Tesseron over the past decade – starting with an impressive 2009. There are excellent wines to be had from Château Meyney and Château Haut-Marbuzet too. Both have produced typically concentrated St Estèphe in 2019 and are definitely worth seeking out. I also enjoyed with offerings from Château de Pez, Château Serilhan, Château Le Petit Bocq and Château Bernard Magrez. They have all produced impressive wine.
The wines at Cos are characterised by exceptional balance and purity in 2019. The reds are very impressive indeed. Château Cos d’Estournel itself is fabulous, with real precision and focus. It displays great length and the tannins are super refined, with impressive texture. This is a St Estèphe that is evidently nudging perfection. Pagodes de Cos has lively plum and black cherry fruit tones and shows much refinement. The whites too look very good. They are more full-bodied than usual and weigh in at 14.4% alcohol – fractionally above the reds – but still retain freshness. This is the fifteenth white wine vintage here, and Cos blanc comes from a set of vineyards adjacent to the Gironde in the Médoc. Talking of Médoc, 2019 is also a very good vintage for Goulée. It is positive and energetic with a distinctively silky aspect. Overall bravo to Michel Reybier and his team led by technical director Dominque Arangoits.