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CHÂTEAU COS D'ESTOURNEL

2016 2ème Cru Classé Saint Estèphe

Grapes Cab Franc, Cab Sauv, Merlot
Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Sub-district Haut Médoc
Village Saint Estèphe
Classification 2ème Cru Classé
ABV 13.07%

76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc. Tasted at the château among the dark, opulent Chinoiserie that is so very Cos. The château was at pains to point out that they did not green harvest following the very wet spring and early summer which helped to prevent over-ripeness in the remaining bunches during the long, hot July and August. Hence the boast that the grand vin came in at just 13.07% alcohol. Tightly spiced black fruit nose, rich and spicy long lean palate. Very drawn out, still with some of the slightly exotic style of Cos, but without the ripeness or mid-palate opulence. Even if it is a bit stiff and lacking immediate sex appeal, the tightness and length are impressive. Drinking range: 2030 - 2050 Rating: 92-94 L&S (Apr 2017)


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In my last sighted review of the 2016 Cos d’Estournel, I wrote: "I suspect it will close down for a period in its youth." Perhaps it is already beginning to shut down, because though this wine was deeply impressive, it fell just a notch short of ethereal previous bottles, despite its "pixelated black fruit" on the nose and "sublime balance" on the palate. I tasted the wine twice thereafter, though this time with a 4-6 hour decant, and this revealed the Cos d'Estournel that has amazed since I first tasted it out of barrel. Drinking range: 2030 - 2070 Rating: 100 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Aug 2020)

The grand vin 2016 Cos d'Estournel checks in as 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, and 1% Cabernet Franc that saw 70% new French oak. One of the more seamless, pure, elegant versions of this cuvée out there, it boasts a saturated purple color as well as a monster nose of pure crème de cassis, gravelly, rocky minerality, tobacco leaf, crushed violets, and lead pencil shavings. One of those “iron fists in a velvet glove” wines, with full-bodied richness and beautiful structure that’s covered by thrilling levels of fruit and texture, it stays tight, compact, and incredibly focused on the palate. It’s already brilliant given its purity of fruit and balance, but it deserves a decade of bottle age and will keep for 4-5 decades. Drinking range: 2024 - 2064 Rating: 99 Jeb Dunnuck, www.jebdunnuck.com (Feb 2019)

The 2016 Cos d'Estournel takes the 2016 baton and runs with it. A blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc that was picked between 26 September and 15 October at 45 hectoliters per hectare, this fabulous Saint Estèphe will be matured in 60% new oak. The alcohol level this year is 13.07%, which proprietor Michel Reybier reminded me is almost 1.5% lower than in 2010. This is clearly a more classically styled Cos d'Estournel that is completely different than say, the 2009 Cos d'Estournel and the more flamboyant, exotic wines in recent years. It actually bears more stylistic similarities to its neighbor Montrose. It is extremely detailed with blackberry and a touch of boysenberry, the fruit almost "creeping up" on you by stealth and then underneath, an undertow of minerals, wet limestone and even flint. The palate has astonishing: exquisite balance, perhaps the most precise and detailed Cos d'Estournel that I have encountered in many years of tasting at this address. It segues into a Pauillac-like second-half with veins of graphite strafing the black fruit, but what marks this Cos d'Estournel is the palpable energy and tension allied with an effortless nature. The persistence, the reverberation in the mouth is quite magnificent, perhaps even longer on my second visit to the property compared to the first. It really is a brilliant Cos d'Estournel that oozes class and sophistication, moreover, a wine that is going to give serious amounts of drinking pleasure over a very long period of time. Boom—and Cos drops the mic. Tasted twice, almost three weeks apart, with consistent notes. Drinking range: 2026 - 2065 Rating: 98-100 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Apr 2017)

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