Candied black licorice, cassis, black and red ripe cherries and spice are easily found in the perfume. The wine is soft, with polished round tannins and a medium body. In the mouth, the wine has added weight and filled out in its texture since last tasted. The wine is already accessible and can be enjoyed young, or allowed to age for more complexity.
Blending 65% Cabernet Sauvignon with 33% Merlot and a dollop of Petit Verdot, the wine represents 36% of the production. To achieve the highest level of quality for the Grand Vin, the estate reserved more fruit for Pagodes de Cos than usual. This is the smallest amount of Cos produced since 1991. With a nose of Asian spice, black cherry liqueur, smoke, gravel, earth, truffle, vanilla and fennel, this refined, pure, fresh cassis- filled wine ends with clean, spicy cassis and blackberry in the finish. 93-95Pts
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(Château Cos d'Estournel (St Estèphe)) Cabernet Sauvignon 65%, Merlot 30%, Cabernet Franc 5%. The acidity is 3.6 g/l, alcohol 13.5% and IPT an impressive 92. The grand vin accounts for just 30% of the harvest. In the glass this barrel sample of Cos d'Estournel has a dark, super-saturated appearance, with a red-black core fading out to an intense, rich and concentrated crimson hue at the rime, this colour coating the inside of the glass as it is swirled. Remarkably the first glass reeked of dishwasher or some other detergent, so I moved onto my neighbour's glass instead (as needs must!) which was much improved. The fruit here displayed a beautifully fresh, pure and plummy character, with a dark, introverted, charcoal streak. This feels rather more restrained than I found the 2009 and 2010 for sure. In the mouth the wine displays plenty of substance though, with something of a softer texture than is usual, albeit it cut through by the firm acids which mark this vintage in many communes. As for the tannins, the key to the vintage, here they are rich and creamed, certainly less aggressive than the Pagodes, and they sit nicely buried within a deep layer of fruit over it all. Taking this wine in the context of the vintage it is very impressive, and although there is plenty here the style is certainly reined in compared to other recent vintages. Overall I'm pleased to find the structure all hangs together for my palate. An impressive and attractive wine, long in the finish, with finessed and velvety tannins.
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