The purity of fruit in this is fascinating with plums, currants and other dark fruits. Then there is another layer of spices and chocolate. So much cassis. Full and very layered with chewy polished tannins and a long, long finish. Just starting to open. Changes all the time. Still needs a year or two but gorgeous to drink already.
There have of course been great vintages since 2005, but the top examples from this year could be the greatest wines of the past two decades. The 2005 grapes were near perfect during the growing season, with flowering completed in three days, followed by similarly smooth and quick colour change and a harvest that finished on 9 October – a touch earlier than many of the neighbouring estates. The percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend is among the highest ever at this château. It tastes much younger than the 2004 vintage right now, as you would expect, but it's the rich and complex layers that really express the quality. It has the sense of cramming a handful of fruit into your mouth straight from the hedgerow, with cassis and crushed blackberry flavours. The tannins are soft but doing their job, with wonderful layers of liquorice and slate. Brambly, cheerful and effortless, there's an almost wild side to this wine, both free-flowing and more than living up to its reputation. Good luck trying to predict when this wine will reach its end. Drinking window 2018 - 2045. (JA)
The 2005 Cos d’Estournel is another great success from this property, which is owned by Michel Reybier. A superstar of St.-Estèphe in this vintage, this wine has a dense ruby/purple color, beautiful, sweet cassis and blackcurrant fruit, some floral notes, spice and a touch of oak in a full-bodied, layered, impressive multi-dimensional style. The tannins are surprisingly sweet and well-integrated, as is the acidity, alcohol and wood. This is a beauty and certainly the top wine of St.-Estèphe. Drink it over the next 25+ years. (RP)
I have been fortunate to taste the 2005 Cos d'Estournel three times in recent weeks and it has never been anything less than stunningly beautiful, as it is once again on this night. The interplay of dark, ripe fruit and the more mineral, savory-inflected nuances typical of Saint-Estèphe yield a compelling, wonderfully complete Bordeaux that simply has it all. An exotic mélange of graphite, gravel, smoke, cured meats and dark-fleshed fruits flow through to the explosive finish. Riveting today, the 2005 Cos will continue to thrill those fortunate enough to own it for several decades. Given its price vis-à-vis many of the high-flying wines of the year, the 2005 Cos remains a terrific relative value in its class. (AG)
Saint-Estèphe has a reputation for tannins, and this 2005 Cos lives up to that. But it does much more, because the tannins add richness along with intensely ripe black fruits, dark plums and figs. The dense tannins are finely balanced with fresh acidity, and a long-lasting aftertaste. Impressive. (RV)
Good ruby-red. Knockout nose combines currant, plum, minerals, licorice and graphite. Wonderfully sweet, rich and deep, but with near-perfect balancing acidity to frame the wine's lush fruit. This superb 2005 has it all. Finishes with noble, sweet tannins and palate-saturating persistence. On my most recent visit, Prats told me he considered 2005 to be superior to the 2003, and that the '05 may be 'our best wine ever.' (ST)
Still tight despite a gorgeous wave of rich melted licorice, fig bread, warm plum compote and steeped blackberry flavors. Lovely alder, black tea and balsam wood details give this added range and a sense of detail through the finish before a wall of graphite-edged grip shows up. We're still in wait mode here. Best from 2020 through 2040. *Collectibles and Top 100 Wines of 2008* (JM, Web only-2018)
Jean-Guillaume Prats allowed the vintage to steer Cos toward unprecedented power in 2005; the wine comes in at 13.95 percent alcohol, and it's grand in every sense. It smells like first-growth juice, with the kind of oak integration that accentuates the wine's beauty rather than masks it. You can feel the tart black cherry fruit and the black tannin along with a burn in the end that is distinct to this vintage. With several days of air, the tumble and rush of the structure settles and the fruit becomes all-powerful, a taut density of sweet purple plum. There's little doubt this will be an astonishing wine at 12 to 15 years of age; its ripeness leads into uncharted territory after that, which makes Cos one of the more interesting wines of the vintage to watch.
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