2016 Chateau Cos d' Estournel 1.5 L

Year: 2016
Appellation: Saint-Estephe
Country: France
Wine Advocate: 100
Vinous Media: 92-95
James Suckling: 97-98
Wine Enthusiast: 96-98--Jeff Leve: 99
Red Wine
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"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.

“Rains on 13th September helped finish the ripening in 2016," winemaker Dominique Arangoits informed me. “There was a little water stress here on the young vines,” he confessed. “It was very important not to overreact to the wet conditions in June, not to de-leaf too much. We have to be more careful than in the past. It was not a very early vintage, but we had to be careful with the Merlot and not to harvest too late. It was very important to keep the fruit and the energy in the wines. In the end, we didn’t even need to fine the wines—this was only the second vintage for this. We started in 2015. In 2017 we will probably not need to fine either. We have our own bottling line, so we have control.”

Arangoits and his team nailed it in 2016. It is also important to highlight that the transformation at Cos d’Estournel since Michel Reybier purchased the château in 2000 is simply incredible. Reybier’s considerable efforts since then in the vineyards and the winery are remarkable. What he has achieved has not only helped to bring the estate up to its true potential but also instilled a pretty impressive batting record when it comes to consistency of quality. Readers may want to check out my dedicated article on this estate, also published this issue, with a look at vintages 2000-2015." (WA)

"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." (VM)

"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." (JS)

"96–98. Barrel Sample. This perfumed wine is stylish and elegant. It is all about the magnificent and sophisticated fruit. At the same time, don't be fooled by the richness: the tannins are all there, a dense and concentrated core at the heart of this seriously ageworthy wine. It demands many years." (WE)

"Almost pitch black in color, the wine is all about the intensity, complexity and exotic, lush textures on the palate. But the perfume, with its lean to Asian spice, smoke, licorice, tobacco and blackberries is surreal. Opulent and regal, this is not quite at the level of the brilliant 2009, but it's not far from there either. 6975 Views Tasted May 12, 2018" (JL)