Closed but promising, this is a classic Cos revealing lots of tannin along with damp earth, black currant, sweet black cherry, graphite, licorice and truffle characteristics. This medium to full-bodied, structured, firm, broodingly backward, impenetrable effort demands 5-6 years of bottle age; it should drink well for 20-25 years. Drink 2016-2036.
78% went into this thanks to small vats in new cellar. High IPT.Extremely deep purplish crimson. It even feels heavy in the hand... Dense terroir expression dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon. Then some spice and much less brutal than some earlier vintages. Extremely vital and lively. Not as concentrated as Latour but (slightly) more energetic than Lafite. Great balance and very fine tannins. Some old hands will object that this is a little 'lighter' than, say, 2005 - but I think it's very well judged. Not a trace of unripeness of fruit or tannin. And some real personality jumps out. Should have an unusually long drinking window. Very ,very clean. Fine and neat. Livelier than many other vintages. 13.8%
The 2008 Cos d'Estournel possesses an atypically high (85%) amount of Cabernet Sauvignon, with 13% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc. The first vintage vinified in the new facility, an unusually high percentage of the crop (78%) was included in the grand vin. The bad news is that yields were a minuscule 25 hectoliters per hectare. This wine achieved 13.8% natural alcohol, and the number of days between the flowering and harvest was 160, compared to the normal 100-110 (one of the keys to understanding the exceptionally high quality that characterizes the 2008 Bordeaux). There were no serious heat waves during the growing season, which meant that the maturation process was slow, long, and ideal. Combine that with the very low yields, and the superb weather from mid-September to late-October, and the often splendid results are much easier to comprehend. The inky/purple-hued 2008 Cos is still very young, and probably will improve even further as the wine came out of malolactic fermentation very late. It reveals exceptionally precise, fresh aromas of black fruits, crushed rocks, licorice, flowers, and subtle smoke. Dense and high in tannin, the extraordinary richness of polyphenols has given the wine power, substance, and depth, but the sweetness of the tannin and the seemingly low acidity, even though the wine tastes remarkably fresh and the pH is only 3.57 (compared to pH's close to 4 when the fruit is this ripe), has given the wine a precision and elegance that is remarkable. And don't forget, this is probably the highest percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon ever used in a Cos d'Estournel blend. This wine should gain weight, richness, and a few Parker points by the time it is bottled. It is even denser and richer than the 1996, with an index of polyphenols at 80, which is not unusual for many of the top wines of the vintage, but is extremely high, and more along the lines of what one would find in the top wines of 2005. It should evolve for 30-35 years.This property has undergone a complete make-over, building a state-of-the-art, spaceship-looking new winemaking facility, and giving brilliant winemaker Jean-Guillaume Prats carte blanche authority from proprietor Michel Reybier. The team continues to fine tune and reflect on every possible detail in both the vineyard and the winery in order to achieve even greater success.
Tasted ex-château and single blind in Southwold. This bottle of Cos d'Estournel 2008 is not as scintillating as the one tasted at the property, but it remains a great performer. Compared to its peers it is more forward on the nose: quite meaty and savoury, some expressive, slightly herbaceous Cabernet Franc here that I have not noticed previously. The palate is medium-bodied with good extraction: fleshy and supple in the mouth, a lot of creamy new oak and perhaps just lacking the mineralité on the finish that I discerned on other bottles. Very fine indeed although it will improve with bottle age. Tasted January 2012.
A blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc, cropped at 27hl/ha and representing 78% of total production. It has a deep purple colour. The nose takes some coaxing so left a minute or two before I start taking notes. Good definition, perhaps less intensity than the 2007 but very well poised. Blackberry, freshly tilled soil, wild hedgerow and dewy meadows. The palate is medium-bodied, here you find the power and the intensity, very focused, a greater sense of mineralité than I have noticed in previous years. The finish is quite linear, very "correct" but it really stays in the mouth long after you have swallowed this nectar. A serious contender for wine of the vintage...it's that good. Tasted March 2009