2015 Cos d'Estournel

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Average critic rating : 94.42 points



A wine of cool sophistication and polish, the 2015 Cos d'Estournel is endowed with striking length and overall persistence. Silky tannins support a core of graphite, smoke, licorice, incense, tar and dark spice. The 2015 is perhaps not as aromatically nuanced or expressive as in the very best years (although that may develop in time), but it offers terrific persistence through to the finish. Finesse and nuance are the key signatures in the 2015 Cos. Apr 2016, www.Vinous.com



The 2015 Cos d'Estournel is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23.5% Merlot and 1.5% Cabernet Franc that was picked between 17 September and 5 October at 44 hl/ha. It is being matured in 65% new oak, less than in recent years due to the tannin (IPT is 71). Deeper in color than the 2015 Pagodes, it has a very pure bouquet with tightly knitted blackberry, blueberry and violet scents, perhaps just a little Margaux-like in style. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, well-judged acidity and harmonious in the mouth. What it does not quite deliver is the complexity of a top-tier Cos d'Estournel or the peacock's tail of flavors on the finish, which feels linear and conservative compared to its peers in more southerly appellations. You feel as if the vintage put a tight leash on this Saint Estèphe grandee. There is pedigree in this Grand Vin for sure and it is bound to give up to 20 years of pleasure. Apr 2016, www.eRobertParker.com, Drink: 2022-2040



This shows what great selection did in the northern Mêdoc. Big surprise. Really excellent. Full body, chewy and rich tannins and loads of ripe fruit. Black currants, blue berries. It has hot and ripe tannins yet cool fruit. Mar 2016, www.JamesSuckling.com



75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23.5% Merlot, 1.5% Cabernet Franc. IPT 71. 65% new oak. Extremely dark crimson. Lovely spice and breadth. Hint of tobacco leaf with lots of ripe fruit. Very comfortable. A lovely pair of slippers. Real tension and ripeness - great combo. Nothing forced. Ethereal and builds towards the end. Certainly has the graphite ingredient. 13.4% Apr 2016, www.JancisRobinson.com, Drink: 2024-2040



Rich fruit that is full of that classic exotic Cos spice, yet more restrained than in the past with a slatey graphite base. Beautifully put together; an exciting wine that will grow in complexity and flavour. Apr 2016, Steven Spurrier, www.Decanter.com, Drink: 2023-2040



This is a very good rather than a great Cos. Deeply coloured and richly oaked, it has nice spice and smoky oak, with well integrated tannins and good length, but I’d like a little more stuffing in the middle of the wine. Apr 2016, www.timatkin.com, Drink: 2022-2028

Graphs indicate market price trends as calculated by FINE+RARE’s internal market making system and are for guidance only. E&OE.

Chart showing (to 15/02/2017) market price for 12x75cl standard case:

Cos d'Estournel 2015
+£96.00     (+7.54%) Latest price:  £1,369.00
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Cos d’Estournel: The Importance

Described by Robert Parker as a “rival to Montrose and even some of the nearby first growth Pauillacs”, Cos d’Estournel continues to produce some of the finest wine in the appellation of St Estèphe. Although classified as a deuxième cru classé in the Bordeaux Classification of 1855, Parker describes it as “a wine of first growth quality”, exemplified by consistently high scores and praise in recent vintages and critics such as Jancis Robinson often endow it with ‘super-second’ status.


The wines of St Estèphe are unique, and as Jeff Leve writes, they “offer a purity and intensity that is seldom found in other Bordeaux wines”. The appellation’s terroir contains much more clay than its neighbours, the moisture retaining qualities of which allows the wines to excel in difficult hot vintages, such as 2003. This terroir means that St Estèphe consistently produces wines of high quality, despite fluctuations in conditions, and it is generally recognised that the finest terroir in the region is found in the vineyards of Cos d’Estournel, described by Jancis Robinson as one of the “stars of St Estèphe”.


Cos d’Estournel: The Insight

Cos d’Estournel is a wine that displays an extraordinary capacity for ageing, making it extremely collectable. The power and intensity of these wines means that they will usually start drinking well with at least 10 years of age, although certain less powerful vintages will be more conducive to earlier drinking. Described by the estate as a wine of masculine elegance, of power combined with grace and smoothness, Jeff Leve has gone on to describe the wines as “rich, sensuous, age worthy, concentrated, refined, powerful, elegant and tannic…Even though these wines are packed, everything is in perfect balance [and] the perfume offers a unique incense quality that is not found in other Bordeaux wines.”


The purchase of the Château by the entrepreneur Michel Reybier in 2000, proved a turning point for the wine it produces. His hiring of Jean-Guillaume Prats,  the great-grandson of one of the earlier owners, paved the way for the installation of a modern wine-making facility, meaning that as Jeff Leve states the “wine being produced at Chateau Cos d’Estournel today [is]  better than anything this historic estate has made at any point in [its] history” . The effect of this new facility, can be seen directly reflected in the critic scores, with it being consistently rated between 90-100 points by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate from 2000 onwards. The highest rated vintages are 2003, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2014 and 2015, with many critics arguing that the 2009 vintage was the best vintage that the Château has ever produced. Tasting in 2010, Parker described the 2009 Cos d’Estournel as “one of the greatest young wines I have ever tasted...in the world!” And the future certainly looks bright for Cos d’Estournel, as Neal Martin writes that the new Managing Director Aymeric de Gironde “is the ideal person to guide the estate into the future.”


The Château also produces a white wine, Cos d’Estournel Blanc, composed of a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon. Characterised by freshness achieved by the proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, the addition of Sémillon brings weight and texture. The 2015 Cos d'Estournel Blanc is described by Neal Martin as “crisp and fresh with a fine bead of acidity…an excellent Cos d'Estournel Blanc that should age with style and panache”, which recognises the ageing potential of this wine.


Cos d’Estournel’s second wine Les Pagodes de Cos is also recognised as a top wine in its own right, as demonstrated by high scores and widespread praise from critics such as Robert Parker, Neil Martin and James Suckling. Les Pagodes is made with the produce of younger vines from the same terroir as the Grand Vin, and vinified in exactly the same way. While the Grand Vin spends 18 months in barriques, the wine of Les Pagodes spends about 12 months, and has a softer, rounder character with a subtle presence of oak spice. It provides consumers with an excellent introduction to the wines of Cos, an earlier drinking lighter style which retains the depth and elegance of its Grand Vin. This has led many critics to consider it one of the best second wines in Bordeaux.


Château Marbuzet, Goulée Rouge and Goulée Blanc also form part of the Cos d’Estournel family. The vines belonging to Château Marbuzet originally belonged to Alexandre de Segur, who owned Lafite and Latour. Up to 1994, the product of any vines younger than 20 years from Cos were made into Marbuzet, making it a sort of second wine for Cos. However, now the second wine is vinified separated as Les Pagodes and Château Marbuzet is made from the 7 hectares of vines that surround the Château. It is composed of more or less equal quantities of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with some Petit Verdot. The Goulée vines are planted on an exceptional terroir of deep gravelly soil and vinified by the team at Cos d’Estournel. Composed of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, it offers a fruitier style of wine  more reminiscent of new world wines, while the Goulée blanc is a floral and fruity Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon blend.


Cos d’Estournel: The Background

Founded in 1811, Cos d’Estournel was one of the first Bordeaux châteaux to bottle, label and sell their own wine. Well known for its architecture, the exotic nature of the buildings at Cos, described by Jancis Robinson as “a façade of pure oriental folly”, were erected by the founder of the estate Louis Gaspard d’Estournel, to celebrate the remarkable success of his wine as far as India.


Cos is now owned by Michel Reybier, as part of a group comprising the luxury hotel groups La Reserve and the Seiler Hotel Group, and the Tokaj Hetszolo Vineyard in Hungary.

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