Chateau Cos d'Estournel Pagodes de Cos (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018
Blend: 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This is so beautiful with very fresh and ripe fruit at the same time. Medium-to full-bodied. Rich and layered. The accessibility and forwardness is so enticing in this second wine. Best Pagodes ever? Barrel Sample: 94-95.
The true second wine of the estate, the 2018 Pagodes De Cos is sensational stuff and clocks in at 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, and the rest Cabernet Franc that saw slightly more new oak than usual. Blueberries, cassis, crushed violets, and classy oak all flow to a medium to full-bodied effort that has incredible class and elegance as well as texture. Fresh, clean, and beautifully balanced, it’s a terrific wine in its own right. Barrel Sample: 92-94.
Full of liquorice and dark chocolate, the nose is immediately seductive. This is a second wine that's full of fleshy, sexy, bright fruit and real elegance. It's a lovely wine, if clearly marked by the generosity of the vintage. The 30hl/ha yield was affected by a mix of mildew and some concentration in September. To control extractions, they macerated at a lower temperature of 27-28°C. As with the grand vin, this is aged in 20% new oak, down a little on the usual amount. 3% Petit Verdot completes the blend. Drinking Window 2024 - 2036. Barrel Sample: 92
Deeply colored, concentrated, and distinctive, St. Estephe is the go-to for great, age-worthy and reliable Bordeaux reds. Separated from Pauillac merely by a stream, St. Estephe is the farthest northwest of the highest classed villages of the Haut Medoc and is therefore subject to the most intense maritime influence of the Atlantic.
St. Estephe soils are rich in gravel like all of the best sites of the Haut Medoc but here the formation of gravel over clay creates a cooler atmosphere for its vines compared to those in the villages farther downstream. This results in delayed ripening and wines with higher acidity compared to the other villages.
While they can seem a bit austere when young, St. Estephe reds prove to live very long in the cellar. Traitionally dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, many producers now add a significant proportion of Merlot to the blend, which will soften any sharp edges of the more tannic, Cabernet.
The St. Estephe village contains two second growths, Chateau Montrose and Cos d’Estournel.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.
In the Glass
Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.
Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.
While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.