Aymeric explained that that flowering was perfect and there was a lot of water stress in the vineyards. A little rain in August provided some relief and refreshed the vines. Unfortunately there was a lot of rain on the 12th and 13th of September, and this changed the profile of the wines. It is refreshing to see the winemaking team making a more red fruited, elegant style. The grand vin accounts for 39% of the production and incorporates 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23.5% Merlot and 1.5% Cabernet Franc, mainly from the old vines on the best gravel sites. Initially reserved, aromas of noble wood, detailed gravelly cassis, violets and spice gradually emerge. There is vivid wild cherry and bramble fruit on the palate. This is certainly more elegant than recent examples, and has a good sense of balance, aided by some smart tannins, but it doesn't have enough stuffing to be a great wine. It will need to fill out considerably during elevage to warrant a big score.
Recently Cos d’Estournel seems to always be in the wine news; not always being portrayed in a positive light. Controversial wines, release prices, and the addition to the 100 point club have all been contentious issues, but their president, Jean-Guillaume Prats is deeply entrenched in this estate, its history and its legacy. Situated at the south of St Estephe, the vineyards boarder those of Chateau Lafite. 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. Now owned by the industrialist Michel Reybier, the chateau boasts one of the most advanced wineries in the Medoc. The building program has certainly rivalled any of the First Growths, and one suspects this is the estate’s intention; to be perceived alongside the most illustrious names of the Medoc.
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.