Chateau Cos d'Estournel (Futures Pre-sale) 2011
Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
Wine Enthusiast - "Powerful tannins are embedded into this wine’s huge velvet cushion of ripe black plum, spiced fruit and chocolate. The wine shows the juicy character of the vintage, which follows right to the end with firm tannins.
Barrel Sample: 94-96 Points "
Wine Spectator - "Lilac and violet aromas quickly give way to dark toasted spice and black tea notes, followed by remarkably creamy-textured cassis and plum compote flavors, all offset beautifully by a hint of bitter cherry and tamarind on the finish. There's a saturated feel that shows no hard edges. A touch languid rather than driven, but this wine tends to put on weight and gain greater focus as it ages.
Barrel Sample: 90-93 Points"
International Wine Cellar - "Bright deep ruby. Closed nose hints at ripe black plum, cassis, coffee and violet. Fresh, clean and straightforward on entry, then a little tighter in the middle; needs time in the glass, and a little more sweet creamy flesh would have been nice too. Still, a very successful wine for the vintage. Only 30% of the total production went into the grand vin.
Barrel Sample: 90-93 Points"
James Suckling - "Very dense and structured with spices, currants and berries and an underlying spiciness. Full body, with chewy tannins and a fresh finish. Structured. Firm. Slightly hollow center palate. Excellent considering the difficulty St. Estephe had with hail and early harvesting.
Barrel Sample: 92-93 Points"
The Wine Advocate - "Because of a smaller than normal crop as well as the elimination of vineyard parcels devastated by the hail storm of September 1, production for Cos d’Estournel in 2011 is the smallest since 1991. Production for the 2011 Cos d’Estournel (65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc that achieved 13.5% natural alcohol) is about 30% of their normal volume. An outstanding effort, this deep ruby/purple-colored wine exhibits notes of lead pencil shavings, black currants, boysenberries, cedar and earth. Made in a traditional style with more acidity and noticeable tannin than in recent years, this medium-bodied, pure 2011 should drink nicely for 15+ years.
Barrel Sample: 90-92 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.