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.
The 2005 Cos d'Estournel is blended of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc. Deep garnet colored, it is still a little closed and youthfully shy. With coaxing, the nose is just beginning to offer glimpses at vivacious kirsch, red roses, violets, licorice and mocha scents over a crème de cassis, blackberry pie and chocolate-covered cherry core with wafts of chargrill, mossy bark and truffles. Full-bodied, concentrated and wonderfully complex in the mouth, the palate is just beginning to reveal the true potential of this wine, with tightly wound layers of perfumed black fruits and earthy notions bound by a rock-solid frame of firm, grainy tannins and finishing with epic persistence. This still needs 5-6 years, but I love how this beauty is shaping up!! (LPB)
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. (JA)
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, Jean-Guillaume Prats told me he considered 2005 to be superior to the 2003, and that the '05 may be 'our best wine ever.' (ST)
The 2005 Cos d'Estournel is a vintage that I have encountered several times over the years. Here, as part of a 2005 horizontal of the top Bordeaux, it mirrors previous bottles. It has a tightly-wound bouquet at first with blackberry, scorched earth, juniper and hints of leather. More backward that its peers and clearly requiring another three to five years or an extremely long decant. The palate is robust, masculine, dense and yet comes with fine tannins and plenty of energy. It has a precision that derives from its propitious terroir … (NM)
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. (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% 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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