The Bordeaux 2016 En Primeur campaign has launched in full swing today with the release of one of Bordeaux’s greatest wines and a giant of St Estephe, Cos d’Estournel. St Estephe was among the finest communes in 2016 producing magnificent wines across the board, therefore, Cos is one of the great Second Growths of the vintage. Suckling has scored it an impressive 97-98 points, matching his score for the 2015. What is most positive about this offer is that the Estate have decided to keep the same ex-chateau release price as the 2015, resulting in a 10% GBP increase to £1,400 per 12×75 case. This sets a good precedent for the campaign ahead and helps halt the lack of pricing consistency surrounding Cos over the last few releases.
In his Cos d’Estournel tasting note, James Suckling outlines a common theme of the vintage throughout the Left Bank, ‘This is a wine that’s so powerful and tannic yet at the same time so polished and superb on the finish’. He goes on to say,‘This is a wine that really grabs your attention. The agility and power are more than impressive.’ We preferred 2016 to the 2015, it is a lot more feminine than usual, beautifully refined and elegant, traits of Cos which are often masked by power. It’s a very good wine. Neal Martin will release his Wine Advocate report at the end of the week but we expect a significantly higher score than he gave the 2015.
It was no secret that Cos d’Estournel’s release was too high in 2015, a 56% increase on the 2014, which was considered to be one of the mistakes of the campaign last year. As such, we view it as a positive step that the pricing has remained consistent. It is noteworthy that the 2005-2014 vintages have increased 13.4% on average over the last 12 months. The 2016 Cos d’Estournel will offer collectors one of their greatest efforts at a small discount to the other leading vintages; the 2010 and 2005 trade at £1,730 and £1,500 respectively.
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We are also pleased to release Pagodes de Cos, one of our favourite second wines in 2016. Suckling awards this its highest ever score of 93-94 points noting that ‘The brightness and focus to this second wine of Cos are certainly impressive’. We were similarly impressed by the Pagodes, finding a notable improvement in quality for the Second wines, particularly on the Left Bank. Pagodes uses a smaller percentage of the Estate’s older vines and spends less time in oak with a lower percentage of new oak. This allows the Pagodes to be approached young, as is the essence with all Second wines, however, as much love and care goes into the wine making as the Grand Vin.
As with many Second wines, there is less of a vintage premium as it isn’t designed to age for 40 years, although it will still be drinking beautifully in 15-20 years. However, on another very positive note for pricing, Cos d’Estournel have actually reduced the ex-chateau release by 50 cents to keep it fairly consistent with previous vintages, despite the change in FX. This is a must-buy Pagodes and a great opportunity for early access to one of the great wines of St Estephe in one of its finest years at just £32 a bottle.
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A History of the Estate
Cos d’Estournel is the greatest Estate in St.Estephe and the terroir boasts wonderful gravel on top of a limestone plateau, or Cos, which translates as ‘hill of pebbles’. If it were not for a small stream separating it from Lafite Rothschild it would have been classified as a First Growth in 1855.
Cos d’Estournel was named eponymously after Louis-Gaspard d’Estournel who inherited the Estate in 1810. He found particular success in India where his wine sold at prices far above his rivals and he became known as “the Maharaja of Saint Estèphe”. To celebrate this success, he built the pagoda style property which today is still one of the most recognisable sites in Bordeaux from which their second wine Pagodes derives its name. Cos d’Estournel is an impressive wine, intense in youth with a masculine structure and concentrated fruit; it develops slowly but beautifully to release a unique perfume of incense not found in other Bordeaux wines.
Cos d’Estournel 2016, 12×75 – £1,400 EP
97-98 Points, James Suckling
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.
Pagodes de Cos 2016, 12×75 – £385 EP
93-94 Points, James Suckling
The brightness and focus to this second wine of Cos are certainly impressive. You can see the quality. Full body, a tight and focused palate and beautiful fruit and density. Ultra-fine tannins. Gorgeous. Sophisticated.
To buy this wine click here or telephone +44 (0)203 195 8055. Offer subject to availability.
En Primeur expected Spring 2018.
En Primeur - Why buy through IG Wines:
IG Wines offer a choice of bottling for en primeur orders: