Deep garnet in color, the 2010 Cos d'Estournel unfurls slowly, measuredly, releasing delicate notes of dried mulberries, stewed plums and blackcurrant pastilles before giving way to notions of potpourri, black cherry compote and chocolate box plus touches of dried sage, tobacco and new leather. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a rock-solid foundation of very firm, grainy tannins and very lively acidity supporting the remarkable intensity of tightly wound fruit layers, finishing very long and fragrant. Give it another 4-5 years in bottle and this will be stunning! 2024 - 2060.
The 2010 is a more structured, restrained, less flamboyant version of the 2009. A final blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot that hit 14.5% natural alcohol, this wine (which represents only 55% of the estate's production) is full-bodied, classic and built along the lines of the 2000 (although that wine was made before Reybier acquired the estate and upgraded quality significantly). This wine exhibits beautifully pure notes of creme de cassis, blueberry liqueur, pen ink, graphite and hints of toast and vanillin. The wine is full and rich, and although aged in 80% new oak, the wood is a subtle background component. This beauty will take longer to round into shape than the dramatic and compelling 2009. Forget it for 5-8 years, and drink it over the following three-plus decades.
These are two terrific wines from Cos d'Estournel. Proprietor Michel Reybier will have to continue his great success over the next decade without his top lieutenant, Jean-Guillaume Prats, who has taken another job, but the estate seems to be in superlative condition, and at the very top of its game.
The 2010 Cos d’Estournel is initially backward on the nose, yet it eventually unfurls to reveal pixelated black fruit, crushed stone, cedar and pine cones, wonderful precision and focus. The palate is medium-bodied with grippy tannins that frame the multi-layered black fruit laced with cedar and black pepper. Great body, superb length and outstanding precision on the finish - what more would you want? Tasted blind at Farr Vintners 10-Year On Bordeaux horizontal. 2025 - 2065
Lifted nose of dried flowers, walnuts and dark fruits. Intense nose. A full-bodied wine, with powerful flavors of blackberries, coffee, dried herbs and spices. Super silky tannins and a long, long finish. Layered and flashy. Try in 2018.
Naughty heavy bottle. Bright dark crimson. The vintage that followed the notoriously overripe 2009. Still pretty rich and sweet on the nose. And a sweet start to the palate. Next to the Montrose it seems to lack a bit of conviction and density. Just a tad smudgy, with very marked tannins. Awkward and a bit alcoholic. A bit too much cocoa. 14.5%
Drink 2022 – 2045
Cos was good in the 1990's but since the 2001 vintage, the quality here has reached another level. Jean-Guillaume Prats has been given total control by the owner, Michel Reybier, to produce the best wine possible. His avowed aim here is to make wine of First Growth quality at less than half the price. The stunning new winery may be the final piece in the jigsaw. It is the most modern and sophisticated in all of Bordeaux, with the world's only 100% gravity cellar - no pumps used at all. Cos is now battling it out with Léoville Lascases, Ducru Beaucaillou and Palmer as the Médoc's best non-First Growth. After a blockbuster 2009 the 2010 is more in the classic style with less power and exuberance but more elegance and class. 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. The time between flowering and harvest was the longest ever recorded here which allowed slow ripening and the development of a typical St Estephe structure. Monsieur Prats feels that it is a wine in the style of vintages such as 1986 and 1959 rather than 1982 or 2003. he concludes that the 2010 is like the 2005 but with a bit more fatness. It is a fantastic Cos, very serious with brooding black cherry and cassis fruit. Super-concentrated but controlled. Strongly Cabernet Sauvignon, cedary, with big tannins and fresh acidity. Focussed and sophisticated. First Growth quality again.
Although there is a lot of power on the nose it is not overdone. The fruit feels ripe cassis dominates with behind layers of flavour sloe and black cherry. The tannins are firm giving structure but as they are in no way aggressive they do not over dominate the fruit.
Exotic tobacco leaf nose, superb ripe fruit and a violetty lift, more controlled and more classic than 2009, a great wine. Drink 2018-40
Blended of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, the 2010 Cos d'Estournel is deep garnet with a touch of purple and comes at you like a variegated scent wall with profound notions of blackcurrant cordial, chocolate-covered cherries, spearmint, cigar box and hoisin plus suggestions of praline, charcoal and espresso. Full-bodied, the palate is jam-packed with layer upon layer of black and red fruits plus tons of savory accents and a firm backbone of ripe, grainy tannins, finishing very, very long, carrying great freshness and a beautiful spearmint lift. It’s a lot like the 2005 but with the volume turned up here. These 2010s are truly locked in a time capsule. Drink 2021 - 2075.
Representing 55% of the production and cropped at 35 hectoliters per hectare, Cos d'Estournel's final blend in 2010 is 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot and the rest tiny portions of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Compared to the massive 2009 (14.6% natural alcohol), the 2010 achieved slightly less alcohol, but also a lower pH, which accounts for its more tannic, backward, huge style. An inky/purple color is accompanied by aromas of damp earth, black currants, blackberries, licorice and charcoal. Firm, thick and super-concentrated, it is another outrageously impressive wine that will require 6-10 years of cellaring. It should keep for 30+ years. It is somewhat 2005-ish in its structure and palate impression.
Tasted blind at the Southwold Bordeaux 2010 tasting. The Cos d'Estournel 2010 has a lovely, well defined bouquet with dense black fruit, cedar, melted tar and mint that unfolds wonderfully in the glass and just oozes class. The palate is medium-bodied with fine but firm tannins supporting layers of ripe black fruit. There is a touch of white pepper sprinkled over the finish that is long and persistent. This is just an immense Saint Estèphe for long-term aging i.e. after you have finished all your 2009s. Tasted January 2014.
Following the exotic 2009, the 2010 is reflective of the vintage, the aromatics beautifully controlled and focused with notes of blackberry, briary, cedar and graphite. It is subtle, complex and cerebral: a bouquet you want to return to again and again. The palate is sensational. The tannins are fine and supple, the acidity pitch-perfect, the balance absolutely exquisite. There is real mineralité to this Saint Estèphe, the finish exuding immense finesse and poise. What a marvellous Cos d'Estournel - a great testament to Jean-Guillaume Prats who has left for pastures new. Tasted November 2012.
Tasted twice just to check, several days apart, the first under cloudy skies, the second under blue. A blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot cropped at 36hl/ha, delivering 14.5% alcohol with a pH of 3.5 (it was 3.68 for 2009), this has a very refined, focused bouquet with pure blackberry, blueberry, Dorset plum scented nose with wonderful tension and mineralité. I really like the precision on this 2010, far more than the exotic 2009. The palate is full-bodied with quite assertive dry tannins on the entry rendering this a slightly more masculine Cos d'Estournel that is quintessential Saint Estephe but nods southwards towards Pauillac. Touches of graphite and cedar interlace the pure blackberry and briary fruit with great tension towards the finish. Very fine sense of symmetry here with great length in the mouth. Back to the Cos d'Estournel I love. Drink 2018- Tasted March 2011
This is a classic Cos, with wonderful layers of ultra-polished tannins and wonderful character of spices, currants and minerals. I love the finish and raciness to this. Lots of pedigree.
78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. 55% of total production. A real tonic. Very, very deep blackish crimson. Real energy and vitality and racy stuff. Pure, refined perfect Cabernet - pretty rich and alcoholic underneath but much, much drier and more appetising than either the 2009 - or the average Napa Cabernet, for example. Minerals and fruit in a lovely tincture. Such great texture and nobility. Racy thoroughbred Great balance and potential. Purity and energy - but you'll need to wait so long for it!