Arriving Fall 2019
The 2016 Cos d'Estournel is blended of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc aged in 65% new and 35% two-year-old French oak for 15 months. Bottled in July 2018, it is deep garnet-purple colored and starts off a little closed and reticent, opening out slowly and seductively to reveal beautiful lilacs, rose hip tea, crushed stones and camphor nuances over a core of crème de cassis, kirsch, wild blueberries and mocha plus wafts of incense and wood smoke. The palate is simply electric, charged with an energy and depth of flavors that seem to defy the elegance and ethereal nature of its medium-bodied weight, featuring super ripe, densely pixelated tannins that firmly frame the myriad of fruit and floral sparks, finishing with epic length. Just. Magic.
“Rains on 13th September helped finish the ripening in 2016," winemaker Dominique Arangoits informed me. “There was a little water stress here on the young vines,” he confessed. “It was very important not to overreact to the wet conditions in June, not to de-leaf too much. We have to be more careful than in the past. It was not a very early vintage, but we had to be careful with the Merlot and not to harvest too late. It was very important to keep the fruit and the energy in the wines. In the end, we didn’t even need to fine the wines—this was only the second vintage for this. We started in 2015. In 2017 we will probably not need to fine either. We have our own bottling line, so we have control.” Arangoits and his team nailed it in 2016. It is also important to highlight that the transformation at Cos d’Estournel since Michel Reybier purchased the château in 2000 is simply incredible. Reybier’s considerable efforts since then in the vineyards and the winery are remarkable. What he has achieved has not only helped to bring the estate up to its true potential but also instilled a pretty impressive batting record when it comes to consistency of quality. Readers may want to check out my dedicated article on this estate, also published this issue, with a look at vintages 2000-2015. Lisa Perrotti-Brown