Cos dEstournel Château 1a

Cos d'Estournel's photo library has kindly provided this beautiful picture.

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Inside the property

Cos d'Estournel is located on the right side of the hill in the Cos hamlet (lieu-dit), about 1.5 km after passing Lafite on the left side of the road (Route des Chateaux) and going up a steep hill toward Saint-Estephe. The name "Cos" means "hill of pebbles" in the Gasconian dialect, given by its first owner, Louis Gaspard d'Estournel, in 1810. The property has had several owners over the years, with the most significant change being the purchase of Cos by Louis-Victor Charmolüe in 1894, the owner of neighboring Montrose. However, he sold Cos to the Ginestet family in 1917. In 1970, another branch of the Ginestet family, the Prats, joined the Ginestet family, and Bruno Prats managed Cos d'Estournel until the change of ownership in 1998.

In 1998, the Ginestet and Prats families sold Cos to an insurance group, Taillan, and two years later, an entrepreneur named Michel Reybier purchased it. Reybier appointed Jean-Guillaume Prats (son of Bruno Prats) as a general manager/winemaker, responsible for significantly increasing quality and shifting towards heavy, extracted, and modern-style wines. However, Jean-Guillaume Prats left in 2013, and Aymeric de Gironde became the new general manager/winemaker, changing style from extracted and modern wines to more elegant, softer, and more soil-reflecting ones. This new style has remained the same since the 2014 vintage.

Aymeric de Gironde stayed briefly at Cos before leaving for Troplong Mondot in 2017. The owner, Michel Reybier, took over managing duties. The consulting oenologist here is Pascal Chatonnet from Lalande de Pomerol. He counts prominent names such as Vega Sicilia in Spain and Chateau de Beaucastel in Chateauneuf du Pape among his clients. Technical director Dominique Arangoïts has been at Cos since 2004.

Cos d'Estournel has a vineyard area of 91 ha, planted with 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot. There are 61 parcels, including small ones of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The vineyard's average age is 45, but several vines are between 80 and 100 years old, and Grand Vin is made from vines with an average age of 55 years. The soil here is mostly gravel, with large stones on the surface.

Cos d'Estournel produces several wines, including Grand Vin, a second wine called Pagodes de Cos, white Cos d'Estournel, and Goulée by Cos d'Estournel (mostly Merlot from Nothern Medoc). The different vintage styles make this property incredibly interesting, with a mix of power and elegance. The competition between two Saint-Estephe giants, Cos d'Estournel and Montrose, vintage for vintage, which we've seen for many years, is great to watch.

Several vintages listed below were tested on November 29th, 2017, in beautiful settings at Copenhagen's oldest wine merchant shop, Kjær & Sommerfeldt, which was created in 1875.


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Yummy vintages! 


Cos d'Estournel 2022 (barrel sample) 98-99p

Tasted in April 2023.  61% C. Sauvignon, 8% C. Franc, 37% Merlot, and 1% P. Verdot. 14.04% alcohol. Tight, intense violets, crushed cherries, blackcurrants, minty, mineral, yogurt, strong backbone, vibrant, complex, and sophisticated. Long and persistent finish. Amazing effort!! 

Cos d'Estournel 2021 (barrel sample)  95-96p

Tasted in April 2022. 64% C. Sauvignon, 4% C. Franc, 30% Merlot and 2% P. Verdot. 12.74% alcohol. C. Sauvignon was shining here. Gentler extraction and less oak in 2021. Tight, intense, violets, some black winter truffle, minty, Mineral (crushed rocks), great depth, vibrant, utterly complex, and sophisticated. Long and persistent finish. Sheer class!

Cos d'Estournel 2020 98-99p

Tasted twice - last time in December 2022. Consistent notes. 62% C. Sauvignon + 38% Merlot. 15% more Merlot in the blend compared with the 2018 vintage. 13.46% alcohol. This wine is an authentic St. Estephe wine with Cabernet Sauvignon dominating, yet the wine takes advantage of more Merlot in the blend, contributing to the fruit’s softness. Grilled bacon, cigar box, tobacco, excellent mid-palate, strong backbone, yet vibrant and juicy. It has fantastic complexity and a long-lasting finish. Spectacular effort.

Cos d'Estournel 2019 99-100p

Tasted twice - last time in February 2022. Consistent notes. 65% C. Sauvignon + 35% Merlot, 14% alcohol. The wine here breaks up old-style Cos with the gentler and more soil-character-oriented style, which started in 2014. The fabulous nose of blueberries and violets, tobacco leaf flavors, grilled bacon, and graphite are typical for C. Sauvignon. There is a scent of black winter truffle on the palate. Extremely refined and sophisticated on the nose and palate, multilayered with stunning complexity, depth, and length. Touch down!!

Cos d'Estournel 2018 99-100p

Tasted three times - last time in December 2020. Consistent notes. 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot. It was an extraordinary effort, with an iron-strong backbone, was very concentrated, and could be sliced in tranches, so fat is fruit and tannin. Creamy. There is elegance, a sophisticated touch, astonishing complexity, style, and a long, long finish. Wow! 14.59% alcohol (well-hidden by fruit), only 50% new barrels. All the wonderful promises from the barrel are now evident in the bottle! 

Cos d'Estournel 2017 96-97p

I tasted it three times, the last time in September 2023. Consistent notes. 66% C. Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 1% C. Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. It displayed a specific flavor while tasting, like a milky or yogurt one on the nose, which I often find tasting Cos. It comes from the soil. Tight, strong, well-balanced, aromatic, with great acidity, and vibrant. Tobacco leaf and cigar box. Magnificent structure and depth. Long and persistent aftertaste. You get grace and power at the same time.

Cos d'Estournel 2016 (barrel sample) 97+p

Tasted in April 2017. This wine was imposing with no over-extraction, elegance, finesse, and sophisticated, silky fruit and tannin, the hallmark of the vintage, great acidity, and great length. Stunning effort.

Cos d'Estournel 2015 98p

I tasted it twice, the last time in June 2022. Consistent notes. It is very aromatic on the nose with fully ripe blackcurrants, creamy and luscious on the palate with fat and ripe tannin, and juicy and lively. Plenty of flashy fruit kept a considerable amount of oak quiet. It has great complexity, splendid structure, and a long, meaty finish. This wine will surely gain even more complexity in the coming years. A mesmerizing effort!

Cos d'Estournel 2014 96-97p

I tasted it three times - the last time in September 2023. Consistent notes. A Bordeaux vintage marked by excellent acidity and almost perfectly ripe fruit and tannin. Cos fit perfectly in that description. Firm, tight, and with plenty of fruit and tannin. It has a strong backbone, vibrant acidity, impressive structure and depth, and a long, persistent finish. As classic as St. Estephe can be. Long-time keeper. By the way, it was the year of the arrival of the new technical director, Aymeric de Gironde, who replaced Guillaume Prats.

Cos d'Estournel 2013 92p

I tasted it in April 2014. Made in a modern style, I couldn't find any over-extraction. Aromatic and tasty cherries on the nose and palate, mineral with fine acidity, and a long meaty aftertaste. It's a lovely effort for vintage and clever winemaking.

Cos d'Estournel 2012 93p 

I tasted it in June 2022. This Bordeaux vintage offered many beautiful, tasty, and immensely attractive wines. They may not have the structure, complexity, and length of the famous vintages like 2010, 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2019, but they are extremely affordable and excellent choices at restaurants. Furthermore, 2012 can now be enjoyed while you wait for the big vintages. Cos was just like that: juicy, luscious, and with a caressing finish.

Cos d'Estournel 2011 93p

Tasted twice - last time in June 2022. Consistent notes. Unstable weather conditions in 2011 didn’t allow winemakers in Bordeaux to accomplish great things. No full ripeness of the grapes and tannins. Cos made a pretty nice wine anyway. The exciting thing was that Jean-Guillaume Prats, manager of Cos, didn't overdo and over-extract this wine as he did to some extent in 2010. This wine was powerful and had rough edges and rusticity. Very Cabernet Sauvignon. It needs time to soften and reveal its qualities because of its potential.

Cos d'Estournel 2010 96p

Tasted in May 2013. Black fruit en masse and alcohol (cherry vodka) are evident on the nose and palate. It is a compelling wine with fatty fruit and tannin. The fruit is on the border of overripeness, and this wine is hugely massive and, honestly, not typical of Bordeaux. Close to Napa Valley style. Either you like it, or you hate it. I've got to be neutral here and can't abstract from the fact that this is a high-quality wine.

Cos d'Estournel 2009 98p

I tasted it twice, the last time in June 2022. Consistent notes. 65% C.Sauvignon, 33% Merlot and 2% C. Franc. This is an excellent vintage for Cos. The intense and aromatic nose of black fruit with the scent of yogurt is distinguished and classy. Luscious blackcurrants, grained tannin, great acidity, highly complex, and very long on the palate. Silky with great elegance. There is absolutely nothing to complain about here. Perfect modern Bordeaux with style. One to enjoy over many years to come.

Cos d'Estournel 2007 89p

Tasted in November 2017. 85% C.Sauvignon + 12% Merlot + 3% C.Franc. It's a difficult vintage, especially for Merlot, so there is more C.S. in the blend. This wine is well-made with fresh acidity, lovely balance, and a round finish despite its lack of maturity. It should be kept for another 6-10 years.

Cos d'Estournel 2006 93p

Tasted twice - last time in June 2022. Consistent notes. 78% C. Sauvignon + 20% Merlot + 2% P. Verdot. Petit Verdot is a rare inclusion in the blend. Damp and humid weather conditions in Bordeaux and Cabernet Sauvignon came through these much better than Merlot. Cos is the typical Cabernet Sauvignon wine with power, a strong backbone, minerality, acidity, vibrancy, big tannin, and a meaty finish. It’s still very youthful and needs a couple of decades to mature.

Cos d'Estournel 2005 98+p

I tasted it in November 2017. 78% C.Sauvignon + 19% Merlot + 3% C.Franc. It's a creamy wine, sweet and fat on the nose and palate. It has extraordinary complexity and a sophisticated touch. It also has exceptional balance and length. It's just stunning wine, and it gives a 2009 run for the money!


Cos d'Estournel 2004 94p

I tasted it in November 2017. 74% C. Sauvignon + 23% Merlot + 3% C. Franc. It is delicate on the nose, with black fruit and a yogurt scent. It is quiet and calm. It has a splendid backbone, depth, and length. It is an impeccably made wine. However, it doesn't have the power and intensity of 2005 and shows more elegance.

Cos d'Estournel 2003 94p

Tasted twice - last time in November 2017. Not consistent notes. 68% C.Sauvignon + 30% Merlot + 2% C.Franc. Truffles, intense yet elegant, well matured, and with a round finish. In my honest opinion, 2003 was a vintage experiencing very high temperatures (+40 degrees C in August), and I think wines from this vintage won't last for many years. I tasted this wine 5-6 years ago (2012), and it was fresher and younger.

Cos d’Estournel 2002 93p

Tasted in June 2022. You can easily say it was a C. Sauvignon vintage, as Merlot had great difficulty reaching good ripeness because of challenging weather. Cos made a wine of satisfactory quality, displaying the typicity of C. Sauvignon well. Leather, cedar wood, forest floor, mineral, strong backbone and structure, sappy, long, and persistent finish. Has a long life ahead.

Cos d’Estournel 1998 96p

This vintage in Bordeaux was blessed by sunny weather and incredibly successful at Right Bank, with many magical wines produced. Left Bank wines hadn’t been largely successful. But Cos contradicted this postulate and was a badass wine. It is intense on the nose and palate with creamy blackcurrants, mineral, delicate acidity, sweet tannins, and great complexity. It has a vibrant and lovely structure. It has a long, lingering finish.

Cos d’Estournel 1996 95p

Tasted in June 2022. Served from a magnum bottle. You can compare it to other vintages ending with the “6” digit, but the fruit ripeness here was better than in 2006, and perhaps the complexity in 1996 was slightly more remarkable than in 1986. To be drunk by your children when they reach the legal drinking age.

Cos d’Estournel 1995 90p

Tasted in June 2022.  I’m not convinced this vintage was splendid on both the Left and Right banks. Merlot ripened, in my opinion, better than Cabernet Sauvignon. Cos in this vintage displayed some peppery notes and a slight lack of ripeness. Edgy, firm, and stern. Maybe it will soften at some point in its life.

Cos d’Estournel 1988 94p

Tasted in June 2022. This vintage is considered better on the Right Bank than on the Left because Merlot ripens perfectly. Wines on the Left Bank suffered a little from Cabernets not reaching perfect maturity. Cos made much more than solid wine. Very Cabernet Sauvignon wine with tobacco/cigar box, wet earth, cassis, and black truffle. Robust, strong backbone, vibrant, splendid complexity, and long aftertaste. It’s classic St. Estephe wine for long-term cellaring.

Cos d’Estournel 1986 95p

Tasted twice - last time in April 2022. Consistent notes. After a solar year in 1985, everything returned to a more classic Bordeaux style in 1986. Cos was a traditional St.Estephe wine with a lot to offer. Full-bodied, big fruit intensity, mineral, wet earth. Cabernet Sauvignon is in full blossom, and the wine has excellent structure and midpalate. Vibrant. It's a long, meaty finish. There are many years to go.

Cos d'Estournel 1985 96p

Tasted twice - last time in June 2022. Consistent notes. My first Bordeaux vintage was to be experienced live on-site in September 1985. Perfect sunny weather through the harvest. Despite huge yields, the wines from this vintage have kept exceptionally well. It was called a feminine vintage by several wine critics, but it’s not entirely correct, in my humble opinion. Cos fantastically expressed this vintage's grace, elegance, sweetness, and power. There was a very noticeable scent of yogurt, robust, spicy with truffles, sappy, firm structure and backbone, lovely balance, complexity, depth, and length: roasted bacon, sensual, sophisticated touch, and long lingering aftertaste. I had a slightly better example of this wine in 2015, but no complaints here! Sorry for swearing, but it was the mother….. of wine, potent and full of life; give it 20 more years!

Cos d’Estournel 1982 98p

I tasted it in June 2022. It is counted among the best vintages in Bordeaux’s history and one that, after 40 years, still keeps its fine ingredients intact. Cos was a peach of the wine with gorgeously intense Cabernet Sauvignon displaying leather, cedar, and tobacco leaf. Plenty of creamy blackcurrants and grained tannin plus sweetness. Vibrant, refined, and sophisticated. In full blossom. Can live forever!

Cos d’Estournel 1981 93p

Tasted in June 2022. This vintage looked sensational before harvest, and many wine people in Bordeaux expected a repeat of 1961. Unfortunately, it rained a lot during the entire crop. However, several properties somehow managed to produce splendid wines, and Cos was one of them. Powerful with a strong backbone, mineral, great structure, delicate balance, complexity and length, and long finish. It can easily be kept for 10-15 more years.

Cos d’Estournel 1977 88p

Tasted in June 2022. I didn’t expect this wine to be that lovely, considering all the weather problems this vintage experienced. A sensual nose of ripe(!) blackcurrants, fine acidity, tasty, complex, beautiful finish. It’s nice to drink now and for 3-5 more years.

Cos d’Estournel 1976 94p

Tasted in June 2022. It's a hot and humid vintage in Bordeaux. Cos was not affected by that and displayed some fine things. Cabernet Sauvignon had flavors of crushed rocks, tobacco leaves, and grilled bacon, with lively, lovely complexity and structure. Persistent aftertaste. A lot of great pleasure here.

Cos d'Estournel 1975 88p

I tasted it blind in October 2015 during dinner at Domaine de Chevalier. The 1975 vintage doesn't have an excellent reputation on Left Bank; many wines are too heavy and dry. I could feel the same soil flavors as in the 1925 version, adding graphite and roundness, but this wine was without the elegance and finesse of 1925.

Cos d’Estournel 1973 89p

I tasted it in June 2022. Surprise! The cold and rainy summer and rain during the harvest didn’t promise good things for the vintage, but I’ve got to say Cos made quite a fine wine. It is aromatic and delicate, with gentle tannin, milky (yogurt) on the palate, vibrant, and with lovely complexity.

Cos d'Estournel 1955 99p

Tasted in November 2017. Cork is in ridiculously fantastic shape, promising that this wine will deliver. It is an excellent dark color for a 62-year-old wine. Stunning nose of red fruit with great distinction and intensity. Yogurt tones. Great complexity, power, and elegance. Great length. Sheer delight! This wine was bought en primeur and stored all its life in Kjær & Sommerfeldt's cellars. Fantastic experience. Twenty years more, at least - I'm pretty sure of that!  

Another bottle tasted in June 2022 wasn't in perfect condition. Bordeaux bottling. It was similar to 1953, with little fruit left, dried-out tannin, and champignon taste. 85p.

Cos d’Estournel 1953 86p

Danish bottling. This bottle we had during vertical in June 2022 had probably traveled worldwide because it tasted old. Sappy and still alive, the fruit was somewhat champignon-like, and tannin was drying out.

Cos d'Estournel 1952 97p

It was tasted in November 2017. Danish bottling by Kjær & Sommerfeldt. It was served blind in pair with Montrose 1952. I guessed this wine to be from 1953 and Saint-Estephe. From the start, I was seduced by the catchy aroma of raspberry drops on the nose. It is an incredibly delicious wine with a lot of fresh raspberry fruit on the palate and sweetness. It's great in everything. Many years are left in this wine. It's a stunning effort here.

Another bottle was tasted in June 2022. Bordeaux bottling. I strongly suspect that the 1950s in our vertical came from the same cellar. Why? Because this particular vintage tasted similarly past its peak and tasted quite old compared with 1955 and 1953. 86p


Great pair of blasts from the past!!

Cos d'Estournel 1929 95p

I tasted it blind in March 2019 during dinner at Domaine de Chevalier. It was a fine old wine with the delicious aroma of truffles, sophisticated with great elegance and finesse. It was a real treat!

Cos d'Estournel 1928 92p

This wine was tasted in November 2002. It displayed very ripe fruit with aromas of chocolate and cocoa. It was slightly tart on the palate but had a delicate balance. It is quite elegant and well-preserved.


 Cos d'Estournel 1926 91p

I tasted it in June 2022. It is a Bordeaux bottling. It is sappy with nice acidity, lively, tasty, nicely balanced, and delicately finished. It is still alive and a pleasant one to taste.

Cos d'Estournel 1925 93p

I tasted it blind in October 2015 during dinner at Domaine de Chevalier. It was a great wine bottle with truffles, remarkable elegance and finesse, and a well-balanced and pleasing length. There were different guesses, but they were all wrong, and when Olivier Bernard revealed that this wine was Cos d'Estournel 1925, we were amazed. This achievement perfectly fits the often-used phrase—"there are only great bottles, not great vintages"!


Cos d'Estournel 1918 92p

I tasted it in November 2018. It is exquisite and refined with a sophisticated touch. Light on the palate, and it tastes better than it is on the nose. There's nothing to be disappointed about here, as this wine still keeps well for its age. Chateau bottled.

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Cos d'Estournel 1916 89p

I tasted this Danish bottling in June 2022. During the First World War, women made wine in this vintage, as male workers were sent to the front. It was keeping well for a 106-year-old wine. It was a bit mushroomy but otherwise pleasant, round, and soft.