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.
The 2020 is a gorgeous wine from a very unusual year in which the Merlot is a bit more prominent in the blend than usual because of dehydration in the Cabernet. Even so, the 2020 is a wine of mid-weight finesse more than opulence. All the elements are impeccably balanced throughout.
(94-96) points, Vinous (June 2021)
This is a very refined, polished Cos with superb finesse and length. Medium-to full-bodied, very fine and persistent. Really long with beautiful tannins. Rich, but fresh and linear. Yet, the alcohol is around 13.5%. 62% cabernet and 38% merlot.
(97-98) points, JamesSuckling.com (May 2021)
Deep purple-black in color, it pops with explosive scents of ripe red and black currants, black cherry preserves and black raspberries, followed by sparks of violets, wild sage, pencil lead and clove oil, with emerging hints of iron ore and damp soil. The medium-bodied palate has amazing elegance and grace contrasted by jaw-dropping energy, featuring a firm frame of finely grained tannins and just enough freshness, finishing with a whole firework display of mineral nuances. I love the way this Cos d'Estournel shimmies and shines—a unique vintage signature expressed so beautifully at this estate!
(96-98) points, Wine Advocate (May 2021)
The 2020 Cos d’Estournel is a very different proposition to the Les Pagodes, more so than in other years. Much more intense on the nose of intense black fruit, it is beautifully defined, with enticing scents of blackberry, Dorset plum and topnotes of blueberry and briar. After 30 minutes in the glass, it develops more Saint-Estèphe-like traits: freshly tilled soil, cigar box and touches of warm gravel. There is an openness to these inviting aromatics. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins (so different from the "iron girders" of yore). There is freshness and a sense of light in this Cos d’Estournel, though the backbone remains in situ on the cedar and mint finish (a nod to neighboring Pauillac, perhaps), then a lingering marine/seaweed note on the aftertaste. This is a finely crafted, very succinct Cos d’Estournel that may well be hiding something up its sleeve for after bottling, and I suspect it will gain more spine during its barrel aging.
(95-97) points, Vinous (May 2021)
62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot. Cask sample.
Purple-black colour to the rim. Deep and dense (like an endless pool) but aromatically restrained. Some cassis with aeration. Big and bold with marked tension and supercharged but finely hewn tannins. Enough fruit to provide unctuosity. Fresh, dry and saline through to the finish. Powerful but sculpted. Very long ageing.
18.5 points, James Lawther, JancisRobinson.com (April 2021)
You need to take a little time to let the concentrated flavours seep out, this is a long hauler. The tannins build slowly but surely through the palate, sombre and serious right now, particularly for an estate that is known for its exuberance. The opulence is there if you give it time, and as the tannins elongate and relax, richer notes of bilberry fruits, toasted cedar, salted chocolate, turmeric and black pepper spice arrives. Harvest September 10 to 24. A 3.9pH is the highest since 2003, but any threat of low acidity is balanced by high tannins, and relatively low alcohol. A yield of 39hl/ha (43hl/ha in 2019). Drinking Window 2027 - 2044
97 points, Decanter (May 2021)
The Grand Vin 2020 Château Cos D'Estournel is based on 62% Cabernet Sauvignon and 38% Merlot that was brought up in 55% new French oak. An inky-hued, concentrated, yet flawlessly balanced wine, it has gorgeous cassis and dark currant fruits, medium to full-bodied richness, ripe, building tannins, and just a wonderful sense of purity and elegance backed up by ample concentration. It stays tight, focused, and seamless, and is a brilliant example of the vintage. The 2020 hit 13.4% natural alcohol with a pH of 3.9 and an IPT of 80.
(95-97)+ points, JebDunnuck.com (May 2021)
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.