Château Cos d’Estournel: Tasting & Drinking

In recent years my feelings about Château Cos d’Estournel have vacillated somewhat. There is no doubt that the château is a striking edifice, and if heading north for the Médoc I rarely miss an opportunity to take the route out of Pauillac so that I can take in views of first of Château Lafite-Rothschild on the left, and then Château Cos d’Estournel on the right as the road makes its turn inland. And the wines have, at times, reflected this favoured position atop this gravel ridge. Looking back to the 1990s I have some fond memories of the wines, and in some vintages the estate really over-performed. A typical example would be the 1994 vintage, not a great year for Bordeaux but one that produced lots of decent drinking. The 1994 Château Cos d’Estournel is perhaps a little more than that though, showing texture, interest and complexity.

Château Cos d'Estournel

But then, under the direction of Jean-Guillaume Prats the wines began to take on ever-greater richness and texture, inky-deep colours and masses of tannin. Château Cos d’Estournel therefore joined the ranks of estates producing wines lauded by critics who prefer massive texture and substance to balance or freshness, a gang of domaines that also included those owned by Gérard Perse such as Château Pavie and Château Monbousquet, and a number of other St Emilion domaines such as Château Troplong-Mondot.

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