The Beautiful Château Cos d’Estournel

I wanted to begin my first of many posts with my last visit to Cos d’Estournel in early February.

This château is a second growth in the Médoc classification of 1855 and located in the Saint-Estèphe appellation, near Bordeaux.

Cos d’Estournel has always attracted me in terms of its architecture, being both remarkable and very original. Founded by Louis-Gaspard d’Estournel in the 18th century, a true enthusiast and lover of his vines, he designed this château entirely different than the norm. The surrounding landscape has an “exotic” design inspired directly by India, a country in which he sold his wine with great success.

The interior is equally as surprising. Inside the recently renovated chateau, you  will first enter a superb reception room / meeting room, followed by a fascinating gravity-driven storehouse all designed by the architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte. Finally, after the glass bridge, is a decorated elephant cave (the symbol of Cos d’Estournel) containing several bottles, some from the 19th century. All worth seeing.

Put quite simply, “Cos” separated by a tiny river from Château Lafite Rothschild is a property of about 160 acres, planted with 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot. The vines are a little less than 40 years of average age and the soils consist of deep gravel on a limestone base. This limestone sub-soil has a significant importance on the wine’s quality.

Tasting: Pagodes de Cos 2009 (2nd label of the Château) and Cos d’Estournel 2008.

I knew that the following tasting would be very interesting. First, it is always intriguing to taste a 2009 (a fantastic year overall). Second, I recently tried the Cos d’Estournel 2006, which left an extremely good impression on me, it’s a good time to compare two different years.

Review :

– Les Pagodes 2009 : A charming nose, clear, very fruity. Fleshy body, structure and charm. Unfortunately, the finish is a little too firm, of medium length, with a slightly green note. It’s disappointing, sure time will do it some good, but still not at the level I expected it to be.

Price : about 65 € <=> 90 $

– Château Cos d’Estournel 2008 :

Blend : 85% Cabernet Sauvignon , 13% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc.

Yield: 27 hl / ha.

Intense color, very dark. Very pleasant nose, black fruit dominant and slightly woody. On the palate, the body is not exuberant, but it is very well structured and the tannins are fine. I really enjoy the fruity finish. 4-5 years of additional storage will improve it.

Price (France) : 120 € <=> 165 $

This proved to be yet another 2008 that I really enjoyed. More of a right bank vintage, in 2008 successful wines do not shine by their power but display other strengths. Cos d’Estournel falls into this category. It is a safe bet for that year, particularly in the Médoc, where everything is not quite up to par…

Finally, I appreciate the kind welcome that was given to me that day. It was a great time!