Château Cos d'Estournel
Founded in 1811, Château Cos d'Estournel is almost as renowned for its spectacular pagoda architecture as for its intense, opulent and complex wines, marking it as the leading château of Saint-Estèphe and classification as a second-growth. The original owner, Louis Gaspard d'Estournel, travelled widely in Asia and set about building the impressive château we see today, drawing heavily on Oriental influences. Ever the showman, the doors of the château were imported from the Palace of Zanzibar. The property has had several owners and has belonged to Michel Reybier since 2000, who has invested substantially with a spectacular new cellar opening in 2008. The 91 hectare estate is densely planted (8,000 to 10,000 vines per hectare) with 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot. On the border with Pauillac, Cos looks across the Jalle du Breuil at Château Lafite, Cos, from old the Gascon language meaning the hill of pebbles, suitably describes the terroir along with clay, gravel, sand and limestone soil. The vineyard is managed by teams and each team member is given 45,000 vines to look after. A second wine - Les Pagodes de Cos - was introduced in 1994. A more recent, and controversial, innovation has been the introduction of a white Cos d'Estournel (80% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Semillon).