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 Andrew Caillard MW. Deep colour. Profoundly deep dark chocolate/ paneforte/ vanilla/ spicy aromas and flavours., densely packed fruit, rich plentiful chocolaty tannins. Finishes chalky briary at the finish. A powerful and impressive wine with superb richness and vigour.
18/20 Steven Spurrier, Decanter. Rich blackcurrant fruit, slightly exotic Cos spiciness, structured smoothness and lovely elegant length. Drink 2017-2035.
90-92/100 Robert Parker Jr. Because of a smaller than normal crop as well as the elimination of vineyard parcels devastated by the hail storm of September 1, production for Cos d’Estournel in 2011 is the smallest since 1991. Production for the 2011 Cos d’Estournel (65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc that achieved 13.5% natural alcohol) is about 30% of their normal volume. An outstanding effort, this deep ruby/purple-colored wine exhibits notes of lead pencil shavings, black currants, boysenberries, cedar and earth. Made in a traditional style with more acidity and noticeable tannin than in recent years, this medium-bodied, pure 2011 should drink nicely for 15+ years.
92-93/100 James Suckling. Very dense and structured with spices, currants and berries and an underlying spiciness. Full body, with chewy tannins and a fresh finish. Structured. Firm. Slightly hollow center palate. Excellent considering the difficulty St. Estephe had with hail and early harvesting.
90-93/100 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator.Lilac and violet aromas quickly give way to dark toasted spice and black tea notes, followed by remarkably creamy-textured cassis and plum compote flavors, all offset beautifully by a hint of bitter cherry and tamarind on the finish. There's a saturated feel that shows no hard edges. A touch languid rather than driven, but this wine tends to put on weight and gain greater focus as it ages. Tasted non-blind.
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.