Cos d'Estournel

Louis Gaspard d’Estournel inherited Cos and Pomys in 1791, founding Cos d’Estournel in 1811, investing significantly in the property and expanding the estate from 14 to 45 hectares. The estate rapidly rose to prominence and the wines were exported around the world.

Cos d’Estournel

About the producer

Indeed, the property’s distinctive, oriental architecture was inspired by the significant portion shipped to India, a favourite among British officers stationed there. The exotic building earned Louis Gaspard d'Estournel the nickname the “Maharajah of Saint-Estèphe”.

The estate has 100 hectares under vine, made up of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. The vineyards sit on the southern border of Saint-Estèphe, neighbouring Ch. Lafite Rothschild on the border of Pauillac

Cos d’Estournel is ideally situated at the heart of an undulating landscape in the northern Médoc. The estate’s rolling contours served as inspiration for its name; ”cos” is derived from the word for “hill of pebbles” in the old Gascon dialect.

The heart of the site is a plateau of deep gravel. Gravelly and clayey, the two hills that slope downward from this point benefit respectively from eastern and south-southwestern exposures. These geological features are completed by a clay vein running diagonally through the vineyard. 

The exposure and soil of each plot – and even each row of vines – determines the selection of grape varieties and growing techniques. Merlot is found to the east, on clay-limestone soils, while Cabernet Sauvignon is grown on the highest parts of the plateau, where drainage is ideal.  

All hand-picked, the grapes are chilled down to 3-5˚C to reduce juice loss and potential oxidation, with a week-long pre-fermentation cold maceration to increase aromatic intensity.

Plots are vinified separately in 84 vats prior to blending, at which point the wine is designated to make up part of the Grand Vin or the second wine Pagodes de Cos. 

The winery is entirely gravity-fed, with no pumps used. The aim is for the grapes, must and resulting wines to be handled as gently as possible.

Pagodes de Cos is made with the fruit from younger vines and vinified in exactly the same way. The Grand Vin spends 18 months in barriques (50-60% new), while Pagodes spends about 12 months (with less new oak).

Goulée by Cos d'Estournel also forms part of the Cos d'Estournel family. The Goulée vines are planted on exceptional terroir of deep gravelly soil and vinified by the team at Cos d’Estournel.


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