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Really aromatic and expressive, notes of pot pourri, of wild dark fruits, or exotic spices and sandalwood, beautiful. Less together on palate today, but with delicacy and finesse, lovely purity and fresh, dancing acidity. Iodine and drive, with amazing harmony on the finish.
The 2018 Cos d'Estournel is composed of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc and has 14.59% alcohol. Aging in 50% new barriques, it has a deep purple-black color and drifts effortlessly, gracefully, seductively out of the glass with slowly unfurling notions of blackcurrant cordial, wild blueberries, chocolate-covered cherries and plum pudding with touches of violets, licorice, wild roses and yeast extract plus a waft of loose tobacco. The full-bodied palate is built like a brick house with a solid frame of super firm, super ripe tannins and seamless freshness to back up the vibrant, crunchy, oh-so-muscular fruit, finishing long with loads of mineral layers. Amazing structure will keep this beauty for at least half a century and probably a full one!
This has some austerity on the attack, then announces its arrival in the inimitable way that Cos is able to do: with a slow build up of exotic spices, liquorice root, cedar and cassis. It stretches out through the palate and you keep waiting for the tannins to punch through like they did in 2010, but it doesn't happen, even though this is a big wine with high alcohol and an IPT of 80. There's a great menthol freshness on the finish, helped no doubt by a fresh 3.65pH. It has the luxurious signature of Cos, the glamorous touch that you look for in this wine - like at Mouton and at Angelus - that is part of their DNA, but it's also married to elegance and a touch of slate minerality. This is a wine that you would be thrilled to own. 12mm of rain on 12 September and 20mm in mid-August were just enough to stop any blockages in ripening, although the 30hl/ha yield is low due to a touch of mildew and some concentration in September. This compares to a more generous 45hl/ha in 2016. 65% of production went into the grand vin. 1% Petit Verdot makes up the blend, and the wine is aged in 50% new oak (a little lower than the usual 60%). A candidate to upscore when in bottle.
The beautiful integration of ripe fruit and ripe tannins gives the wine a layered and agile mouthfeel. Soft and gorgeous with silky tannins that really kick in at the finish and carry the wine for a long time.
A regal, soaring Saint-Estèphe, the 2018 Cos d'Estournel is also clearly one of the wines of the vintage. On the palate, the 2018 is dark and sumptuous, with striking aromatic presence and silky tannins that wrap around a rich core of exotic fruit. Black cherry, savory herbs, leather, spice and menthol build in the glass in a wine that is both aromatically intense and richly textured. The 2018 has been nothing short of breathtaking on the two occasions I have tasted it so far. Don't miss it.
Young 2028 - 2050
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