The 2016 Cos d’Estournel was a bona fide showstopper out of barrel, the best that I had encountered in over 20 years of visiting the estate during en primeur, so my expectations were piled high when I returned to find out how it performs in bottle. Deep, almost opaque in color, it sports a very intense but broody bouquet with fathomless deep black fruit tinged with blueberry and violet. The aromas almost seem to envelop the senses. The palate is medium-bodied with ultra-fine tannin that I have never witnessed in any other vintage of Cos d’Estournel. There is a beguiling symmetry to this Saint-Estèphe, as well as unerring mineralité. The persistent, tobacco-tinged finish can be felt 60 second after the wine has departed. This is a monumental, benchmark Cos d’Estournel that will give not years but decades of pleasure, though I suspect it will close down for a period in its youth, hence my drinking window. 13.07% alcohol. Drink 2030-2070
|Score: 100||Neal Martin, vinous.com (Jan 2019), January 2019|
The 2016 Cos d'Estournel takes the 2016 baton and runs with it. A blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc that was picked between 26 September and 15 October at 45 hectoliters per hectare, this fabulous Saint Estèphe will be matured in 60% new oak. The alcohol level this year is 13.07%, which proprietor Michel Reybier reminded me is almost 1.5% lower than in 2010. This is clearly a more classically styled Cos d'Estournel that is completely different than say, the 2009 Cos d'Estournel and the more flamboyant, exotic wines in recent years. It actually bears more stylistic similarities to its neighbor Montrose. It is extremely detailed with blackberry and a touch of boysenberry, the fruit almost "creeping up" on you by stealth and then underneath, an undertow of minerals, wet limestone and even flint. The palate has astonishing: exquisite balance, perhaps the most precise and detailed Cos d'Estournel that I have encountered in many years of tasting at this address. It segues into a Pauillac-like second-half with veins of graphite strafing the black fruit, but what marks this Cos d'Estournel is the palpable energy and tension allied with an effortless nature. The persistence, the reverberation in the mouth is quite magnificent, perhaps even longer on my second visit to the property compared to the first. It really is a brilliant Cos d'Estournel that oozes class and sophistication, moreover, a wine that is going to give serious amounts of drinking pleasure over a very long period of time. Boom—and Cos drops the mic. Tasted twice, almost three weeks apart, with consistent notes. Drink 2026 - 2065.
|Score: 98/100||Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (230), April 2017|
The 2016 Cos d'Estournel is blended of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc aged in 65% new and 35% two-year-old French oak for 15 months. Bottled in July 2018, it is deep garnet-purple colored and starts off a little closed and reticent, opening out slowly and seductively to reveal beautiful lilacs, rose hip tea, crushed stones and camphor nuances over a core of crème de cassis, kirsch, wild blueberries and mocha plus wafts of incense and wood smoke. The palate is simply electric, charged with an energy and depth of flavors that seem to defy the elegance and ethereal nature of its medium-bodied weight, featuring super ripe, densely pixelated tannins that firmly frame the myriad of fruit and floral sparks, finishing with epic length. Just. Magic. Drink 2024-2068.
|Score: 100||Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (Interim), November 2018|
This is muscular yet so well defined and toned. Full-bodied with deep and dense fruit on the palate, yet powerful and rich at the same time. So much sandalwood and blackberry character. Chewy and rich at the finish. This is a warm and generous wine, but the alcohol is just over 13 degrees. Not that high. Love the finish. Extravagant. Magical. Try from 2025.
|Score: 100||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2019|
The finish is something else here. This is a wine that’s so powerful and tannic yet at the same time so polished and superb on the finish. Full-bodied, beautifully crafted and precise. This is a wine that really grabs your attention. The agility and power are more than impressive. Wow is the word.
|Score: 97/98||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2017|
The 2016 Cos d'Estournel is polished, silky and gracious, just as it was from barrel. In this vintage, the Grand Vin is especially refined. The dark red cherry, plum, new leather, licorice, cedar, mocha and spice notes are all beautifully delineated. To be sure, the 2016 represents a decidedly laid-back style within the context of recent vintages. I can't wait to see how it ages. Drink 2026-2056.
|Score: 95+||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, January 2019|
The beautiful 2016 Cos d'Estournel is one of the most polished, gracious young Cos d'Estournels I can remember tasting. Aromatic freshness and lift, along with a distinctly red fruit profile, are among the signatures. It will be interesting to see if this style of Cos - one in which concentration and textural richness are backed off - is the result of the vintage or an evolution in winemaking philosophy, or perhaps, as is most likely, a little bit of both.
|Score: 92/95||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, April 2017|
Tasted blind. Minerally nose with all in place. Good vitality and a certain meatiness. Hint of rose petals on the end. Pretty interesting!
Drink 2025 – 2042
|Score: 17.5||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, February 2020|
Energy and raciness on the nose. Gentle and lifted. And then lots of tannins underneath. Fresh almost sandy tannins. Good energy and tea-leaf sensation. Excellent freshness. Long. Restrained. Elegant. 13.07%
|Score: 18||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2017|
Cos is in Saint Estephe but borders Pauillac and, in particular, the vineyards of Chateau Lafite. Quality was good in the 1990's but, since the 2001 vintage, it has reached another level. In some vintages the quality level is not far from that of the first Growths. The stunning new winery 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. Following the departure of Jean-Guillaume Prats the new man at the helm is Aymeric de Gironde who joined from Pichon Baron. The only problem at Cos is the en primeur pricing policy which has seen vintages not yet in bottle being offered at higher prices than those at which the consumer can buy recent mature vintages. The 2016 is a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc with a modest 13% alcohol. Only 45% of the production made it into the Grand Vin this year. Blackcurrant and cedar with a little roasted coffee give the nose a classic, but ripe purity to the wine. The palate is pure with cassis and firmly-structured with plentiful ripe tannins. Exotic notes of star anise and cocoa are layered with kirsch and cassis on a long, fine finish from a pure, refined and restrained Cos that is a step up from the 2015.
|Score: 17.5||Farr Vintners, April 2017|
The grand vin 2016 Cos d'Estournel checks in as 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, and 1% Cabernet Franc that saw 70% new French oak. One of the more seamless, pure, elegant versions of this cuvée out there, it boasts a saturated purple color as well as a monster nose of pure crème de cassis, gravelly, rocky minerality, tobacco leaf, crushed violets, and lead pencil shavings. One of those “iron fists in a velvet glove” wines, with full-bodied richness and beautiful structure that’s covered by thrilling levels of fruit and texture, it stays tight, compact, and incredibly focused on the palate. It’s already brilliant given its purity of fruit and balance, but it deserves a decade of bottle age and will keep for 4-5 decades. 2024 - 2064.
|Score: 99||Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, February 2019|
Inky on the nose the palate has concentrated black fruits depth of flavour. The fruit is ripe mid suppleness silky tannins purity of fruit there is enough freshness to balance and lighten harmony and although firm at the back the finish is rich, supple with ripe black fruits. 2026-41
|Score: 93/96||Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, April 2017|
“There’s a freshness in the wine and I’m not exactly sure where it came from,” admits Dominique Arangoits. And very tasty it is too. Graphite and orange zest aromas segue into a fine, elegant, leafy palate with stylish oak and filigree tannins. 2024-36
|Score: 96||Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2017|
This is one of the best Cos d'Estournels that I can remember trying at this early stage, it really does have every hair standing up on end. Powerful and deep, with a clear intensity but such delicacy; this is fresh, beautiful and succulent. It moves effortlessly through the palate without ever letting you forget that it's there. Deep black cherries, touches of dark chocolate and graphite are driven forward by a pulse of energy. From a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc aged in 60% new oak.
Drinking Window 2027 - 2050
|Score: 97||Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2017|