Majestic, intense, full-bodied and tannic, Cos d’Estournel is considered the leading wine of St Estèphe. Highly tannic in its youth, over time it develops much much like the great wines of adjoining Pauillac.
The wine is typically a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc, consistently displaying immense power and evident breed.
95-97/100 Robert Parker Jr. 2010 Cos d’Estournel: 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.
Wine Advocate (Neal Martin) 96-98/100 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.
James Suckling (James Suckling) 96-97/100 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.
Wine Spectator (James Molesworth) 96-99/100 This offers a terrific panoply of dark tea, cocoa, savory herb and red currant confiture aromas. Remarkably dense, with loads of strapping dark fruit and tar in reserve. There's massive structure, yet this is rounded and so, so long. A huge wine in the making. This is going to compete with the elite of the vintage. A truly superb effort. Contains 1 percent Petit Verdot, for first time since 2005. Tasted non-blind.
Decanter Magazine (Steven Spurrier) 19/20 Exotic tobacco leaf nose, superb ripe fruit and a violetty lift, more controlled and more classic than 2009, a great wine.
"There’s clarity and beauty to this wine as always with pure dark berry, stones and spices. Some clove too. Full body, firm and silky tannins and a long finish. Pure and precise wine with so much class. Try in 2020." 98 points James Suckling.
Saint -Estèphe, with 1,377 hectares under vine is the largest of the major Bordeaux appellations in the Medoc. Located in the most northern part of the Left Bank, on average, 585,000 cases of wine are produced each year. The soils see a rich mixture of rocks, clay, limestone and gravel that rests on the surface and of course below, deep in the terroir. Beneath the surface lies a complex blend of different soils, sub soils and terroir. Over the past several decades, the general trend in the Saint -Estèphe vineyards has been to add more Merlot, which has added a lot of softness to the tannins and the wines. Merlot works well in the appellation due to the large amount of clay found in the soils. in the appellation due to the large amount of clay found in the soils.