This is muscular yet so well defined and toned. Full-bodied with deep and dense fruit on the palate, yet powerful and rich at the same time. So much sandalwood and blackberry character. Chewy and rich at the finish. This is a warm and generous wine, but the alcohol is just over 13 degrees. Not that high. Love the finish. Extravagant. Magical. Try from 2025.
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. (LPB)
In my last sighted review of the 2016 Cos d’Estournel, I wrote: "I suspect it will close down for a period in its youth." Perhaps it is already beginning to shut down, because though this wine was deeply impressive, it fell just a notch short of ethereal previous bottles, despite its "pixelated black fruit" on the nose and "sublime balance" on the palate. I tasted the wine twice thereafter, though this time with a 4-6 hour decant, and this revealed the Cos d'Estournel that has amazed since I first tasted it out of barrel. (NM)
The grand vin 2016 Cos d'Estournel checks in as 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, and 1% Cabernet Franc that saw 70% new French oak. One of the more seamless, pure, elegant versions of this cuvée out there, it boasts a saturated purple color as well as a monster nose of pure crème de cassis, gravelly, rocky minerality, tobacco leaf, crushed violets, and lead pencil shavings. One of those 'iron fists in a velvet glove' wines, with full-bodied richness and beautiful structure that’s covered by thrilling levels of fruit and texture, it stays tight, compact, and incredibly focused on the palate. It’s already brilliant given its purity of fruit and balance, but it deserves a decade of bottle age and will keep for 4-5 decades.
One of the best Cos in recent years, a huge success although not showing as much of itself as the 2010 at this point, as you would expect with a concentrated Sauvignon-dominant classified St-Estèphe. First time for me opening this vintage since the in-bottle tastings a few years ago, and those gorgeous layers of cassis, blackberry and bilberry fruits are on full display with a little coaxing out of the glass, met step-by-step with a smoked caramel, bitter black chocolate and liquorice root twist. A brilliant wine with precision and confidence. Expect decades of enjoyment ahead of it, but not one to think about for another five or six years. (JA)
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