Chateau Cos d'Estournel (Futures Pre-sale) 2012
Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
Blend: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot
The Wine Advocate - "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.
Barrel Sample: 92-95 Points"
James Suckling - "This is very tannic -- perhaps slightly too much -- but shows very pretty, intense fruit with blueberry and mineral character. Full and dense. Mineral and dried spices such as cloves under it all. Very muscular. 92-93"
Wine Spectator - "Juicy raspberry, blackberry and plum confiture notes roll along, while the bramble-edged structure and accents of roasted apple wood and spice fill in. The finish has a lightly firm plum skin edge, but overall there’s drive, intensity and depth to the pure fruit. A solid effort. Best from 2017 through 2025."
International Wine Cellar - "Bright, full ruby. Aromas of fresh blackcurrant, graphite and bitter chocolate are complicated by delicately smoky minerality and lifted by an enticing floral quality. Fine-grained, generous and sweet, with plenty of sound acidity giving noteworthy precision to the palate. Finishes dense and long, with soft, polished tannins and lingering notes of red and darker fruits. A lovely Cos, more refined and less exotic than some previous vintages. You can tell they are de-leafing a great deal less at Cos of late and vintages since 2009 have shown less "solar" personalities and more precision. Interestingly, this is the first year in a long time that I recall cabernet franc making it into the grand vin at Cos. Winemaker Dominique Arangoits told me it's from a one-hectare parcel of 35-year-old vines on clay that ripened well, and it no doubt contributed to this wine's bright perfume. The grand vin represents 50% of the total production in 2012.
Barrel Sample: 88-91 Points"
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Chateau Cos d'Estournel Winery
Château Cos d'Estournel is a Grand Cru vineyard located in St. Estephe. Its oriental facade is adorned with three pagoda turrets, all cast in a soft golden sandstone. Château Cos d'Estournel today covers 170 acres separated from Château Lafite, along the southern edge, by the stream between St. Estephe and Pauillac. The gravelly soil, over a flint, limestone and silicate subsoil low in nitrogen, has eroded over centuries to form steep ridges which perfectly drain the vineyards. The vineyards are planted 60 percent in Cabernet Sauvignon vines, 2 percent of Cabernet Franc, and 38 percent in Merlot. Naturally, the percentage of Cabernet or Merlot in the composition of each vintage depends on the climate which favors one grape variety or the other. View all Chateau Cos d'Estournel Wines
About St. EstepheView a map of St. Estephe wineries (saint ess-TEFF)
St.-Estèphe is the northernmost of the 4 communes hugging the Dordogne river in the Northern Haut-Médoc area of Bordeaux. While the appellation has no premier crus (first growths) of its own, it's southernmost chateau, Cos d'Estournel, is a highly acclaimed second growth, geographically separated from the famed Lafite-Rothschild in Pauillac by only a stream. Many believe Cos d'Estournel consistently produces wine of a first growth level.
Notable FactsWine from St-Estèphe typically matures more slowly than its southern counterparts. The soil is heavy and rich with clay, leading to wines with firm, muscular tannins and high acidity. Dark and opaque in color, the wines can be a bit austere in their youth, though most get softer as they age. Cabernet Sauvignon is the primary grape in most of the region's blends, although Merlot is important in helping to soften the wines. In volume, St-Estèphe creates the most wines of the top four Haut-Médoc communes. There are quite a few Cru Bourgeois properties, which are more approachable when young and, even better, lower in price. To get a feel for St-Estèphe, look for Cru Bourgeois like Chateau Haut-Beauséjour.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.