I feel compelled to offer this 2016, which has taken us and the market a touch by surprise this morning. While many Château proprietors are waiting for Neal Martin’s 2016 Bordeaux en primeur review before setting their prices and releasing their wines, the management of Château Cos d’Estournel has taken the step of releasing this morning. Moreover, they have opted to retain the same release price as last year, so the only differential will be the impact of exchange rates. One can only hope that this approach catches on.
The 2016 is an exceptionally fine vintage for Château Cos d’Estournel; it really shows how the estate has adjusted its winemaking style over the last few years. This is a far more naturally-balanced wine – there is no sense of hefty extraction and a far lower impact of new oak, all at fractionally over13 degrees of alcohol. The 2015 was good, but we were not so enamoured with it to make an offer. The 2016, however, has a rare sophistication and poise. It is by far the finest vintage for Cos that I can recall having tasted en primeur – and I began tasting en primeur with the 2000 vintage.
Please see my full note below along with the note from James Suckling. While I sometimes question the scores that Suckling applies, I completely concur with him in this instance.
2016 Château Cos d’Estournel, 2eme Cru Classé, St. Estèphe
£700 per 6 bottle case in bond
My note as follows:
Comprising 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc, the 2016 Cos offers beautifully pure, inviting characters of blackberry and cassis with a terrific, almost violet-like lift. This is really something; a broad swathe of wonderfully ripe fruit. Sweet and juicy with a fresh, cool quality. There is the merest hint of background toast from new oak, but this is played down (far more so than in previous years), allowing the fruit to take centre stage. There is a marked mineral quality – almost graphite like touch – and a bright, life-giving acidity, that gives this vintage an outstanding sense of poise. There is near perfect definition to the remarkably silky tannins. This wine offers exceptional symmetry with no sense of austerity. This showcases racy, noble Cabernet Sauvignon. Impeccable with a long, persistent finish where the fruit fans out beautifully. A more classical style of Cos...frankly, this is just brilliant. Drink 2030 to 2050. (SL)
(97-98) points, James Suckling
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.
Please let us know of your interest at your earliest convenience. Stocks are limited and uptake is difficult to judge.
Who knows, if this approach prevails we may have a very interesting few weeks on our hands. If you missed our report on the 2016 vintage, you can read it online.
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