2018 Chateau Cos d' Estournel

Year: 2018
Appellation: Saint-Estephe
Country: France
Wine Advocate: 97-100
Vinous Media: 97-100
James Suckling: 98-99
Jeb Dunnuck: 97-99+--Wine Enthusiast: 95-97--Jeff Leve: 98-100
Red Wine


Price :


"The 2018 Cos d'Estournel is composed of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc and has 14.59% alcohol. Aging in 50% new barriques, it has a deep purple-black color and drifts effortlessly, gracefully, seductively out of the glass with slowly unfurling notions of blackcurrant cordial, wild blueberries, chocolate-covered cherries and plum pudding with touches of violets, licorice, wild roses and yeast extract plus a waft of loose tobacco. The full-bodied palate is built like a brick house with a solid frame of super firm, super ripe tannins and seamless freshness to back up the vibrant, crunchy, oh-so-muscular fruit, finishing long with loads of mineral layers. Amazing structure will keep this beauty for at least half a century and probably a full one!

“The wet weather in June didn’t affect the flowering because it was still quite warm,” winemaker Dominique Arangoits explained. While flowering was not an issue, yields were down slightly at Cos d’Estournel, coming in at 30 hectoliters per hectare. This was due in part to losses from early season mildew and very small Cabernet Sauvignon berries. There was also a little dehydration.

“In the end, what was interesting was the balance of the vines,” Arangoits continued. “There was great energy and fruit. Cabernet was surprisingly round. Merlot looks like Cabernet this year, and Cabernet looks like Merlot,” he laughed. “There was incredible tension in the Merlot.”

Winemaking was also not without challenges. “It was a hot harvest: 25-28 degrees Celsius outside,” said Arangoits. “We were able to cool the grapes very quickly. We decided to lower the temperature of fermentation to 28 degrees Celsius rather than 30 degrees to preserve the fruit. We felt this was key—preserving the fruit. The gravity cellar really helped with the gentle extraction this year. For whites, we were not so optimistic. But we were pleasantly surprised by the characters. The pHs were low, which is a good sign."

The final blends were done in December, after the malolactic fermentations finished." (WA)

"A regal, soaring Saint-Estèphe, the 2018 Cos d'Estournel is also clearly one of the wines of the vintage. On the palate, the 2018 is dark and sumptuous, with striking aromatic presence and silky tannins that wrap around a rich core of exotic fruit. Black cherry, savory herbs, leather, spice and menthol build in the glass in a wine that is both aromatically intense and richly textured. The 2018 has been nothing short of breathtaking on the two occasions I have tasted it so far. Don't miss it. " (VM)

"The beautiful integration of ripe fruit and ripe tannins gives the wine a layered and agile mouthfeel. Soft and gorgeous with silky tannins that really kick in at the finish and carry the wine for a long time." (JS)

"Deeply colored, the 2018 Cos D'Estournel shows the incredible purity and elegance that this estate delivers these days as well as fabulous crème de cassis, graphite, white flowers, and spicy oak aromas and flavors. Made from 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and the rest Petit Verdot, aging in 50% new barrels, it builds with time in the glass and has a full-bodied, decadent yet also seamless mouthfeel, layers of tannins, and a great finish. This is as classy as it gets and certainly a candidate for the King of Saint-Estèphe in 2018. Given its purity and balance as well as depth of fruit, it should offer loads of pleasure in its youth yet also evolve nicely for 3-4 decades. This estate has been on an incredible roll over the past 7-8 years and this is another killer wine. For those interested in the technical data, this wine hit 14.59% alcohol, with a pH of 3.69, total acids of 3.3, and a whopping IPT of 80." (JD)

"95–97. Barrel Sample. Big, rich and smoky in nature, with powerful fruits and dense tannins, this is a wine that is straining at the limits but still within balance. Rich, smoky flavors shine along with the black plum fruit and bright acidity. It will age for many years." (WE)

"With its telltale Asian spice perfume, the color is impossible to see through. Full-bodied, dense, rich and fleshy, the wine coats your palate with a display of red and black fruits, spice, smoke, earth and licorice. The tannins are polished. The fruit, even with this much weight and flesh, remains fresh and balanced. The finish keeps on going long after the wine has left its glass and gone to where it was intended to go. I timed it, and it surpassed the 60 second mark! This is positively stunning and if you’re a lover of COS, as this is one of the best vintages produced in the long history of the estate, this belongs in your cellar. The wine was made from blending 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, reaching 14.6% alcohol with a pH of 3.7. The harvest took place September 19 to October 6. The Grand Vin was made from only 65% of the harvest." (JL)