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.
"Deep colour. Beautiful dark cherry cassis lead pencil aromas with cedar complexity. Generous supple yet structured with lovely dark fruits, viscosity, vanilla oak notes and plentiful chalky bitter notes. Superb graphite tannin finish with pure fruited length. Very elegant style but with classic undercarriage. Tannin plume. A very expressive wine. Tasted at Ch Cos d'Estournel."
97 points - Andrew Caillard, MW
'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. 2026-2056'
95+ points - Antonio Galloni
"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."
98/100 Neal Martin
"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."
97-98 points - James Suckling
"76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc. 26 September to 15 October. IPT 69. pH 3.66. Very similar analysis to 2015. 45 hl/ha yield, which they feel is best for vine balance now. 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."
18/20 points - Jancis Robinson MW
"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. 2030-2070"
100 Points, Vinous
"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."
100 Points, JamesSuckling.com
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.
100 points, Wine Advocate (December 2018)
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.
99 points, jebdunnuck.com (February 2019)
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.