Bordeaux 2016: Cos d’Estournel and Les Pagodes de Cos

Bordeaux 2016: Cos d’Estournel and Les Pagodes de Cos
Cos d’Estournel is full of surprises. We were really intrigued to taste the 2016s and see the stylistic transformation of the wines. And we were stunned by Aymeric de Gironde’s decision to be the first classified growth from the Medoc to release… In fact it rather caught us unaware…

Aymeric described 2016 as an 'atypical year'. At the middle of June the spectre of 2013 loomed, but the weather turned dramatically and Bordeaux went on to experience one of its driest summers on record. There is a definite transition going on at Cos. Amyeric himself explained that the team are picking earlier, using higher yields and using very gentle extractions; focussing on a 'classic ripe' style, rather than the trend for lower yields and super-ripeness. And we wholeheartedly approve of this strategy, there is noticeably more freshness, precision and elegance in the wines – they are not screaming for attention as perhaps Cos d’Estournels of the past did, rather, these are sophisticated, with a sense of reserve and assurance.

Perhaps the biggest criticism cited at Cos over the last decade has been its optimistic pricing strategy… So the biggest surprise of all, and the icing on the cake was Aymeric’s decision to hold the price. 2016 is clearly a far superior wine to their 2015, yet the temptation to increase was resisted. In sterling terms, there is a small increase (due to our weaker foreign exchange rate) to £700/6, making this considerably cheaper than both the 2005 and 2010.

‘The finish is something else here. This is a wine that’s so powerful and tannic yet at the same time so polished and superb on the finish. Full-bodied, beautifully crafted and precise. This is a wine that really grabs your attention. The agility and power are more than impressive. Wow is the word. 97-98’. James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

‘Energy and raciness on the nose. Gentle and lifted. And then lots of tannins underneath. Fresh almost sandy tannins. Good energy and tea-leaf sensation. Excellent freshness. Long. Restrained. Elegant. 13.07. Drink 2025-2042. 18/20’. Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

‘This is one of the best Cos d'Estournels that I can remember trying at this early stage, it really does have every hair standing up on end. Powerful and deep, with a clear intensity but such delicacy; this is fresh, beautiful and succulent. It moves effortlessly through the palate without ever letting you forget that it's there. Deep black cherries, touches of dark chocolate and graphite are driven forward by a pulse of energy. From a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc aged in 60% new oak. Drinking Window 2027 – 2050. 97/100’. Jane Anson, Decanter.com