Château Cos d'Estournel, 2eme Cru Classé, St Estèphe, 2013

  Château Cos d'Estournel

This is Aymeric de Gironde's first full vintage in charge since he moved from Pichon Longueville, and it probably will be a vintage he never forgets… A hugely challenging year, but the hottest July in 60 years at Cos helped break down the methoxypyrazines, so the fruit flavours are pure and ripe. Harvesting had to be done with great precision as the berries were very thin skinned and therefore susceptible to rot. They only chaptalized two tanks of Cabernet Franc which will go in the Pagodes. Alcohols are a modest 12.7%. Aymeric did a 10 day cold maceration to extract fruit flavours without extracting alcohol and the results are very promising. A quintessentially northern Medoc bouquet of lead pencil, cassis, violets - fragrant and brimming with cool purple fruit. The palate is broad but focussed, ripe and concentrated. Refreshing, seductive and smooth with hints of spice, chocolate, with a cherry stone and menthol finish. IPT of 71, 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc.

Contains Sulphites.

About Château Cos d'Estournel

Situated at the south of St Estephe, the vineyards boarder those of Chateau Lafite in Pauillac. The terroir is excellent and there has always been the potential to produce exceptional wines; this is recognised by its 2nd growth classification in 1855. The chateau’s unique pagodas are a legacy of Gaspard Lacoste de Maniban, Marquis d’Estournel, the “Maharajah of Saint Estèphe”, who bought the land in 1791 and spent his life travelling and promoting his wine. In 2000 Michel Reybier purchased Cos and construction of a vat room entirely based on the laws of gravity (the first of its type in Bordeaux). The winemaking process, from harvest reception to bottling, takes place without pumping. Grape berries, their juices and the resulting wines are handled as gently as possible.

Following the departure of Jean-Guillaume Prats, Aymeric de Gironde, formally of Pichon Longueville was appointed as General Manager. He instigated a change in philosophy, with the emphasis on producing wines with freshness, elegance and precision. He too has moved on to pastures new, but Michel Reybier and his Technical Director, Dominique Arangoits have continued to refine and some would say perfect this style. Cos d’Estournel is enjoying a resurgence and possibly the greatest period in its long and distinguished history.

Appellation: St Estèphe

A part of St-Estèphe is separated from Pauillac's Lafite only by a stream.Though St-Estèphe contains some gravel, it is largely renowned for the high clay content of its soils compared with other vineyards on the left bank. These wetter cooler soils favour the Merlot, hence the relatively large proportion of plantings compared neighbouring communes, though Cabernet Sauvignon dominates. The cool soils means the grapes are later ripeing and tend to have high acidities, archetypal St Estèphe is a strong-willed, tannic structured wine to be laid down. The stars of St-Estèphe are Montrose, Cos d’Estournel and Calon-Segur, whilst Haut Marbuzet and Lafon Rochet have been producing excellent value wines over the last few years.

Grape Blend: Cab. Sauvignon | Merlot | Cab. Franc | Petit Verdot

The full complement of permitted Bordeaux varieties (excluding the rarely used Carmenere & Malbec) and the classic left bank Bordeaux blend. The Cabernets and Merlots usually dominate the blend with small percentages of Petit Verdot blended in for colour, structure and complexity. Several producers outside of Bordeaux have tried to emulate this with a Bordeaux style blend of their own, a particularly successful example being Cain Cellars in the Napa Valley and their splendid Cain Five.