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Chateau Cos d'Estournel 2001

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
  • RP93
  • WS91
0% ABV
  • RP100
  • JS98
  • WE98
  • JS98
  • WE97
  • D95
  • JS98
  • WE98
  • WS94
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Winemaker Notes

#37 on Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines of 2004!

"Wonderful spice and currant aromas to this young wine. Full-bodied, with super well-integrated, refined tannins. Long caressing finish. This is very, very silky. Just like from barrel. Cos is on top of it now. Best after 2008." --Wine Spectator

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A beautiful effort, the 2001 Cos d’Estournel (65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot) exhibits a poised, noble bouquet of black currants, cedar, spice box, and licorice. A hint of truffles emerges as it sits in the glass. Medium-bodied with sweet fruit (mostly black) and nicely integrated wood, it builds incrementally in the mouth, ending with a 50-second finish.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Shows a cool, minty edge, with notes of bay and savory. The red and black currant fruit have a slightly dried edge. Pebbly tannins carry the finish, lending this a pleasant tug of earth. Very poised.
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Chateau Cos d'Estournel

Chateau Cos d'Estournel

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Chateau Cos d'Estournel, , France - Bordeaux
Chateau Cos d'Estournel
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.

South Africa

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An underappreciated wine-producing country currently undergoing a renaissance, South Africa has a surprisingly long and rich history considering its status as part of the “New World” of wine. In the mid-17th century, the lusciously sweet dessert wines of Constantia were highly prized by the European aristocracy. Since then, the South African wine industry has experienced some setbacks due to the phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s and political difficulties throughout the following century. Today, however, it is increasingly responsible for high-quality wines that are helping to put the country back on the international wine map. Wine production is mainly situated around Cape Town, where the climate is generally warm to hot, but the Benguela current from Antarctica provides the brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening. Similarly, cooler high-elevation vineyard sites offer climatic diversity.

South Africa’s wine zones are divided into region, then smaller districts and finally wards, but the country’s wine styles are differentiated more by grape variety than by region. Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, is the country’s “signature” grape, responsible for earthy, gamey reds. When Pinotage is blended with other red varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, or Pinot Noir (all commonly vinified alone as well), it is often labeled as a “Cape Blend.” Chenin Blanc (locally known as “Steen”) dominates white wine production, with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc following behind.

Pinotage

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A distinctively earthy, rustic, and divisive variety, Pinotage is South Africa’s signature grape. A cross between finicky Pinot Noir and productive, heat-tolerant Cinsault, it was created in 1925 and surprised its inventors by being darker and more tannic than either of its parents. Pinotage at first seemed nearly impossible to tame, with its bold profile and wild flavors. While the grape has always had detractors, advances in viticultural and winemaking techniques have since helped to make Pinotage wines more palatable. Today it is a popular South African export both as a single varietal wine and in so-called “Cape blends,” in which Pinotage forms a significant proportion of a blend with other red varieties. It is grown very minimally outside of South Africa.

In the Glass

There is no mistaking the smell of Pinotage—common descriptors include tobacco, smoke, tar, bacon, licorice, hoisin sauce, and burnt rubber, in addition to more run-of-the-mill fruit like plum and blackberry. The flavors are bold, and tannins are firm but sweet—in fact, many Pinotage wines bear more resemblance to Australian Shiraz than to Pinot Noir.

Perfect Pairings

For a wine this powerful, food should be equally bold, and gets bonus points for mirroring Pinotage’s sweet and sour flavors. Classic smoky South African braai (barbecue) is the most obvious match, while grilled curry sausage, lamb biryani, or richly spiced beef stew would be equally welcome at the table.

Sommelier Secret

The name “Pinotage” is a subtle portmanteau: The Pinot part is obvious, but the second half is a bit confusing. In the early 1900s, Cinsault was known in South Africa as “Hermitage”—hence Pinotage. The somewhat less appealing “Herminoir” was also considered.

ARP79593_2001 Item# 79593

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