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11th December 2017

Well well well! - Cos d'Estournel

As part of a trip around Bordeaux for Martin Randall Travel - which was great fun and which I will get to do again next year, we visited a number of top properties, and were treated to a personalised tasting at the very best St Estèphe property: Cos d'Estournel.

This majored on vintages that might otherwise be considered 'off' in some way, ranging from 2002 and 2011, which are considered 'difficult' (you can imagine for what that is a euphemism) to 2003 which was jaw-droppingly hot throughout France and produced excellent but wholly atypical wines.

The Château was endeavouring to show us that its wines can reflect the vintage as well as the terroir of the property, and that the best test of a winemaking enterprise is how they handle the unexpected.

These wines add further to my belief that there is no longer any such a thing as a 'bad' vintage in Bordeaux. From rigorous selection in the vineyards, various new-fangled winemaking technologies and practices in the winery, to releasing only a small percentage as the Grand Vin, properties nowadays have many weapons in their armoury to combat whatever the weather may throw at them.

Tasting at Cos d'Estournel

27 /11/17

Pagodes de Cos 2011
55 CS 45 M
Spicy warm oak, black fruit. Rich and full. Generous for the vintage. Some green hints 17

Cos d'Estournel 2011
70CS 27M 2CF 1PV
Much richer, sweeter oak aromas, more youthful looking. Spices. No green. 17

Cos d'Estournel 2008
78CS 22M
Earth, spice aromas, some coffee. Opening to reveal violet and black fruit.
Blackberry, cream, serious dry tannins. Opening. Approachable, youthful. 17.5

Cos d'Estournel 2003
65CS 27M 8PV
Warm earthy spices, some smoke, tea. Violets scorched black fruit. Dry tannins on finish. Not jammy, not hot. Ready. 18

Cos d'Estournel 2002
65CS 45M
Savoury and smoky. Pencil shavings and cedar. Smoke and spices. Dry fruit. Fairly classic. Delicious although lacks huge weight and complexity 17.5

It is traditional - and refreshing - to taste the whites after the reds in Bordeaux:

Cos d'Estournel Blanc 2013
80S 20Sm
Oak and vanilla aromas, some smoke, rich honeyed flavour, crisp acidity and lemon. A little over oaky currently. 16


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