Neal Martin has just released his 2016 Bordeaux en primeur report and it is exceptional and he states ‘Let’s cut to the chase: 2016 is unequivocally a great vintage in Bordeaux.’ In fact, he says, ‘Over twenty years of tasting Bordeaux from barrel at en primeur, this was my most pleasurable tasting experience alongside the 2009, albeit in a very different style.’ We posited in our report that Pauillac and St.Estephe truly exceed surpassing 2015 and Martin agrees ‘Saint Estephe played a blinder in 2016.’ Martin has awarded eight potential 100 point scores, from 98-100 points, seven 97-99 point scores and 17 scores from 96-98. The 100 point wines are Ausone, Figeac, Mouton Rothschild, La Mission Haut Brion, Latour, Pavie, Leoville Las Cases and most importantly Cos d’Estournel, which released on Monday.
It released at the same euro price as last year, which now with a score of 98-100 looks hugely undervalued. We posited that once the campaign is in the rear-view mirror that Cos d’Estournel’s release price may on reflection seem appealing and now with 98-100 points it is exceptional. The same euro release price on Monday translated to a 10%-pound increase, priced therefore at £1,400 per case of 12 or £700 per case of six. This reflects brilliantly, at a 19% discount to the 97+ scoring 2010 which trades today at £1,730 (released at £2,145) and a 44% discount to the 100 point 2009 which trades at £2,500. Martin says that it is ‘the best Cos d’Estournel that I have tasted since I began en primeur 20 years ago.’ This quote shows Martin’s hand and we can expect higher than a 98 point re-score from bottle, surely a 100 pointer. The market will expectantly re-price this immediately above the 2010 watermark of £1,730, moving closer the £2,000 in anticipation of a 100-point score from bottle.
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The exceptional review now makes 2016 truly a great vintage, exceeding 2015 and global demand will be very high. However, the high scores will encourage Estates to raise prices, which makes Cos d’Estounel’s release unmissable. Another factor is the recent news that there has been frost damage in Bordeaux over the last two days, early indications suggest that St Emilion and Margaux have been affected in particular with some Chateaux at risk of losing up to 90% of their 2017 crop. Drones and helicopters are in the air and the damage is being assessed with a full report due on Tuesday. Both events will put pressure on forthcoming prices.
We highlight Cos d’Estournel 2016 as a very strong investment buy and we expect a 25% price rise over the coming year. We have secured a large parcel from the Place de Bordeaux, which will sell out over the weekend. ‘Boom—and Cos drops the mic.’ Neal Martin.
Chateau Cos d’Estournel 2016, 12×75, £1,400 EP
Neal Martin, Wine Advocate, 98-100 Points
The 2016 Cos d’Estournel takes the 2016 baton and runs with it. A blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc that was picked between 26 September and 15 October at 45 hectoliters per hectare, this fabulous Saint Estèphe will be matured in 60% new oak. The alcohol level this year is 13.07%, which proprietor Michel Reybier reminded me is almost 1.5% lower than in 2010. This is clearly a more classically styled Cos d’Estournel that is completely different than say, the 2009 Cos d’Estournel and the more flamboyant, exotic wines in recent years. It actually bears more stylistic similarities to its neighbor Montrose. It is extremely detailed with blackberry and a touch of boysenberry, the fruit almost “creeping up” on you by stealth and then underneath, an undertow of minerals, wet limestone and even flint. The palate has astonishing: exquisite balance, perhaps the most precise and detailed Cos d’Estournel that I have encountered in many years of tasting at this address. It segues into a Pauillac-like second-half with veins of graphite strafing the black fruit, but what marks this Cos d’Estournel is the palpable energy and tension allied with an effortless nature. The persistence, the reverberation in the mouth is quite magnificent, perhaps even longer on my second visit to the property compared to the first. It really is a brilliant Cos d’Estournel that oozes class and sophistication, moreover, a wine that is going to give serious amounts of drinking pleasure over a very long period of time. Boom—and Cos drops the mic. Tasted twice, almost three weeks apart, with consistent notes.
James Suckling, 97-98 Points
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.
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