WTN: Four from Cos d'Estournel

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WTN: Four from Cos d'Estournel

Postby geo t. » Tue Aug 26, 2008 11:36 pm

Kim and I tasted these four with Alan Kerr, Marty Freitas and Robin Caverhill a few weeks ago. We tasted through them from youngest to oldest, comparing our various impressions of each. All four wine show a similar deep, dark color, with no rust or bricking as of yet; they also display a consistent house style that the producer’s website describes as “a… virile elegance in which power does not exclude either grace or mildness.” The three older wines came out of Marty’s cellar, while Alan provided the ’86. Kim and I were fortunate to taste the ’95 and ’96 from this great Chateau about a year and a half ago, and here were selections that were ten years older and more!

1986 Château Cos d'Estournel Saint Estèphe: Full bodied and muscular, this delivers rich, dense, dark black currant, cassis, old wood and hints of underbrush and some subtle chocolate. Kim remarked that “it smells like a poopy aquarium,” and Alan noted “beautiful spice, anise.” Robin commented on impressions of “cedar wood shavings.” This is still a relatively young wine, with big structure and a serious core of powerful fruit. 22 years old and it’s not close to its peak, and yet as little as half an hour of air makes it approachable; with extended air, it drinks quite well. If I had some, I’d probably try it again in three to five years to see where it’s at.

1985 Château Cos d'Estournel Saint Estèphe: This is another relatively young wine; it shows black currant with some herbaceousness on the nose, following through on the palate to reveal a rich core of fruit with big bones and a dense mouth feel. As it opens (and again, air really helps this, as with all four of these), it constantly evolves and improves, with emerging notes of tobacco, underbrush and dark chocolate. It seems to be just starting to hit its prime drinking window, and it elicited these comments and descriptors as the wine opened:
“A little vegetal; more poop than pepper…” – Kim
“Nice mineral, lead pencil and iron. It’s a funny wine. It’s standing up and making jokes!” – Alan
“Burnt sugar and coffee…” – Kim
“Slightly under-ripe bell pepper…” – Alan

1983 Château Cos d'Estournel Saint Estèphe: There’s nothing secondary in nature to this one yet, but it does seem to be going into a mature phase, with old wood, saddle leather and black currant characteristics on a big bodied frame. There’s a lot going on here, as it constantly opens and evolves, and my initial impressions expanded to include notes of cedar, mahogany and tobacco. Like the following wine, this is in a prime drinking window, but perhaps not yet at peak.

1982 Château Cos d'Estournel Saint Estèphe: This is the richest of the four, but it also has funkier notes than the others. I noted a little funk over old wood, tobacco, and earthy black currant with a hint of leather; silky and beautiful with air, it’s another big wine, smooth in texture, with tannins that don’t intrude on the pleasure that this delivers right now. Still, at 26 years old, it’s in no danger of fading any time soon, but I wouldn’t presume to guess what kind of lifespan it has ahead of it. The funky quality never does “blow off,” and that’s fine with me, because I like it. Here’s what others had to say about this:
“Burnt sugar…” – Kim, who named it as her favorite of the four after the first pass
“Incredibly ripe fruit…” – Alan
“The caramelized brown sugar has turned to Mochaccino, so smooth in the mouth…” – Kim
“A bonfire-like char…” – Group consensus

Here was a wonderful opportunity to taste these truly great wines. If I had to pick a favorite, I’d have to go with the ’82, if only because it’s the one that’s drinking the best right now, but in fact, all of these are loaded with multi-dimensional charms and attributes. Many thanks to Marty for staging the tasting and to him and Robin for their hospitality in opening their beautifully restored vintage home to us. It was a gas!

-from Four from Cos d'Estournel

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geo t.
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Re: TN: Four from Cos d'Estournel

Postby Eric Lo » Fri Aug 29, 2008 11:18 am

My take on the '82, a fantastic wine indeed!

'82 Cos d'Estournel, St. Estephe

The wine was decanted at 6: 30 pm and start serving at 7:30pm in decanter. Fine , intense and well focused nose of roast herbs and smokiness gushing out of the glass when first poured, some tobacco, black pepper in the mix, then turned to intense black truffle, mineral and rich soy sauce (first pressed soy sauce) and finally some vanilla, rich cassis , Chinese mandarin peel, plum and kirsch was picked up . Nose was simply explosive yet without overdoing, a class act indeed! In the palate, the wine is already well integrated , full bodied, low acidity but with loads of mineral, earth tone, smokiness and dark fruit that filled up the midpalate. No doubt a great wine drinking at its best!

cheeers,
Eric
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Re: TN: Four from Cos d'Estournel

Postby Jenise » Sat Aug 30, 2008 3:00 pm

Oh, you make me sad. Back when I understood almost nothing except that "Bordeaux sure is good!" I drank my 86 Cos's. Now I know enough to leave them alone, and they're gone. Reading your notes is almost as good, though. Not quite, but almost. :)
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: TN: Four from Cos d'Estournel

Postby geo t. » Sat Aug 30, 2008 5:51 pm

Jenise wrote:Oh, you make me sad. Back when I understood almost nothing except that "Bordeaux sure is good!" I drank my 86 Cos's. Now I know enough to leave them alone, and they're gone. Reading your notes is almost as good, though. Not quite, but almost. :)


Sorry. Bummer! Thanks!!

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