Since Michel Reybier acquired the estate in 2000, brand and image have been an integral part of the development of Cos d’Estournel. From the aforementioned renovation work to the stylised labelling and subsequent release of the third wine, Goulée – a special project between Reybier and Prats – it has been a conscious strategy to present Cos as not only the leading St-Estèphe wine but to create a brand that can engage with the emerging markets.
In November 2011, Cos d’Estournel was included in Robert Parker’s ‘magical 20’ tasting in Hong Kong, which took place to highlight 20 wines of high quality outside the big names of Bordeaux. This further underlined the estate’s reputation and enhanced its image in the Far East. This has been developed in recent years with strategies like the release of ‘COS100’. A special edition, limited production release which has certainly helped grow the brand across Asia and India in particular through using it as a marketing tool and also charitable events.
As mentioned earlier, through the historical links to India as well as the strong Orient imagery running through the brand, it can be argued that ‘Cos’ is well placed to continue to take advantage of the burgeoning interest in fine wine from growth Asian markets and specifically India where fine wine imports are growing year-on-year.
Cos d’Estournel has earned significant praise for its wines over the last ten years and has enjoyed great success under the joint stewardship of Michel Reybier. The Chateau certainly takes its place as one of the leading super-second’s with the 14, 15, 16, and 17 vintages averaging 95.59 points by Global Wine Score (as of Oct 18). This is testament to the continued efforts to produce first-growth quality wine on a consistent basis. The wines have seen gushing tasting notes from a vaiety of high-profile critics.
2009 Cos d'Estournel
"One of the greatest young wines I have ever tasted, the monumental 2009 Cos d’Estournel has lived up to its pre-bottling potential. A remarkable effort from winemaking guru Jean-Guillaume Prats and owner Michel Reybier...should age effortlessly for a half century"
Robert Parker Jr
2016 Cos d'Estournel
"...The persistence, the reverberation in the mouth is quite magnificent, perhaps even longer on my second visit to the property compared to the first. It really is a brilliant Cos d'Estournel that oozes class and sophistication, moreover, a wine that is going to give serious amounts of drinking pleasure over a very long period of time. Boom—and Cos drops the mic..."
2017 Cos d'Estournel
"...The palate sports fantastic freshness and tons of energy emitted from the intensely perfumed black fruit layers, finishing on an epically long-lingering mineral note. Truly profound."
The Chateau is named after 19th Century owner Louis Gaspard d’Estournel, whose travels in the Orient influenced the design of the chateau and cellars, earning him the nickname ‘maharajah of St Estèphe’. During these years, the majority of Cos d’Estournel was exported to equally exotic locations with India being one of the main recipients. The ‘Indian elephant’ is still synonymous with Cos, a statue of which greets you on your approach to the property and is also symbolised within the chateaux’s branding. With India’s wine consumption steadily increasing, it wouldn’t be surprising if Cos d’Estournel lead the way in this region with its obvious connections to Southern Asia.
Michel Reybier, who has been owner since 2000, has remained true to the avant-garde style of Louis Gaspard and this is shown in the immaculate condition of the Chateau itself, cellars and vat rooms- with wonderfully modern stainless steel and glass flourishes. Thankfully the quality of the wine has matched the size of investments that have been made over the last 15 years and is seemingly already bearing dividends. Since 2000, Reybier, alongside proprietor Jean-Guillaume Prats, have raised the quality of this St. Estèphe estate and were vindicated by the estate’s first 100 point score from Robert Parker Jr for the 2009 vintage, then the 2016 and 2017 vintages receiving 98-100 point and 97-100 point scores respectively at En Primeur.
Cos d'Estournel Price Analysis
Chateau Cos d'Estournel Pricing
Highest rated vintages for Chateau Cos d'Estournel
One of the greatest young wines I have ever tasted, the monumental 2009 Cos d’Estournel has lived up to its pre-bottling potential. A remarkable effort from winemaking guru Jean-Guillaume Prats and owner Michel Reybier, this blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot (33%) and a touch of Cabernet Franc (2%) was cropped at 33 hectoliters per hectare. It boasts an inky/black/purple color along with an extraordinary bouquet of white flowers interwoven with blackberry and blueberry liqueur, incense, charcoal and graphite. The wine hits the palate with extraordinary purity, balance and intensity as well as perfect equilibrium, and a seamless integration of tannin, acidity, wood and alcohol. An iconic wine as well as a remarkable achievement, it is the greatest Cos d’Estournel ever produced. It is approachable enough at present that one could appreciate it with several hours of decanting, but it will not hit its prime for a decade, and should age effortlessly for a half century.
The prodigious, fantastic 2003 Cos d’Estournel is a candidate for “wine of the vintage.” A blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon (unusually high for this chateau), 30% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc, 17,500 cases were produced from low yields. An inky/blue/purple color is accompanied by a compelling perfume of black fruits, subtle smoke, pain grille, incense, and flowers. With extraordinary richness, full body, and remarkable freshness, elegance, and persistence, this is one of the finest wines ever made by this estate. The good news is that it will be drinkable at a young age yet evolve for three decades or more. Kudos to winemaker Jean-Guillaume Prats and owner Michel Reybier.
While I am not convinced the 2005 Cos d’Estournel will eclipse the compelling 2003 Cos, it is unquestionably another superb classic from proprietor Michel Reybier and his brilliant winemaker, Jean-Guillaume Prats. Made from an unusually high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon (78%) and the balance mostly Merlot with a tiny dollop of Cabernet Franc, this superb effort requires plenty of time in the bottle. It boasts an inky/purple color as well as a glorious perfume of licorice, Asian spices, creme de cassis, blackberries, and toasty oak. This full-bodied St.-Estephe is exceptionally powerful, pure, and dense with a layered mid-palate that builds like a skyscraper. While there are massive tannins, they are remarkably velvety and well-integrated in this big, backstrapping effort that should enjoy an unusually long life. Forget it for 8-10 years, and drink it between 2017-2040.
The 2010 is a more structured, restrained, less flamboyant version of the 2009. A final blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot that hit 14.5% natural alcohol, this wine (which represents only 55% of the estate's production) is full-bodied, classic and built along the lines of the 2000 (although that wine was made before Reybier acquired the estate and upgraded quality significantly). This wine exhibits beautifully pure notes of creme de cassis, blueberry liqueur, pen ink, graphite and hints of toast and vanillin. The wine is full and rich, and although aged in 80% new oak, the wood is a subtle background component. This beauty will take longer to round into shape than the dramatic and compelling 2009. Forget it for 5-8 years, and drink it over the following three-plus decades. These are two terrific wines from Cos d'Estournel. Proprietor Michel Reybier will have to continue his great success over the next decade without his top lieutenant, Jean-Guillaume Prats, who has taken another job, but the estate seems to be in superlative condition, and at the very top of its game.
This 1982 is still displaying a beautiful deep ruby/purple hue as well as a stunning set of aromatics consisting of blue and black fruits, loamy earth, flowers, licorice, and spice box. The wine is medium to full-bodied with sweet tannins, a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, and a silky finish. It appears to have hit full maturity, but it can easily be held in a cold cellar for another 10+ years. Release price: ($115.00/case)
A wine of extraordinary intensity and accessibility, the 1995 Cos d'Estournel is a sexier, more hedonistic offering than the muscular, backward 1996. Opulent, with forward aromatics (gobs of black fruits intermixed with toasty pain grille scents and a boatload of spice), this terrific Cos possesses remarkable intensity, full body, and layers of jammy fruit nicely framed by the wine's new oak. Because of low acidity and sweet tannin, the 1995 will be difficult to resist young, although it will age for 2-3 decades. Anticipated maturity: 2001-2025.
The 1986 is a highly extracted wine, with a black/ruby color and plenty of toasty, smoky notes in its bouquet that suggest ripe plums and licorice. Evolving at a glacial pace, it exhibits massive, huge, ripe, extremely concentrated flavors with impressive depth and richness. It possesses more power, weight, and tannin than the more opulent and currently more charming 1985. Anticipated maturity: 1996-2010.
It has a saturated purple color, a classic style, abundant tannin, slight austerity, superb concentration, huge fruit, a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, and a structured, muscular, well-delineated finish. This impressive, full-bodied Cos will need time to round into shape. Give it 4-5 years of cellaring and drink it over the following two decades. Proprietor Michel Reybier has produced an outstanding 2012 Cos d'Estournel from a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot and the rest tiny quantities of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. With a pH of 3.75 and alcohol level of 13.8% this is a ripe wine with the same tannin levels (IPH) as the 2009. The second wine, the 2012 Les Pagodes de Cos, represents 50% of the production.
Not as concentrated as the 1982, or as most of the vintages made since 2001, the 1990 Cos has reached full maturity. It exhibits sweet berry fruit intermixed with spice box, herbs, and spring flowers. Expansive, round, and sensual, with wonderful purity as well as lushness, this irresistible wine can be enjoyed over the next 6-10 years. Release price: ($350.00/case)
The exceptional 2006 Cos d’Estournel is composed of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, and 2% Petit Verdot, 55% of the production was utilized. Revealing superb intensity for a 2006 as well as an inky/blue/purple color, and a sweet bouquet of blue and black fruits, licorice, graphite, and charcoal, this full-bodied 2006 possesses high levels of sweet tannin. This wine is characterized by a freshness and precision that give it a 1996-like affinity. Enjoy this beautifully concentrated, exceptionally pure, statuesque Cos d’Estournel over the next 20-25 years. By the way, it was bottled without any fining or filtration.