Cos d’Estournel is a 2nd Classified Growth in the Saint-Estephe appellation. Its strong cultural and architectural ties to India are hard to miss. Louis Gaspard d’Estournel created a legendary domain which still creates timeless, elegant wines today.
The Maharaja of Saint-Estephe
Many centuries ago, Louis Gaspard d’Estournel inherited grape vines nears the Cos, a village in Saint Estephe. He recognized the quality of his parcel of land and began to vinify these grapes separeately in 1811. Very shortly, he was competing with great wines from Bordeaux and exporting his wines to India.
Louis was drawn to India’s culture, so much that he was nicknamed the “Maharaja of Saint-Estephe” and made the domain in the likeness of Indian palaces. He held several Indian themed parties that were heavily influenced by Indian culture. Sadly, in 1852, Louis had to sell the chateau to a London banker due to debt. He was granted to permission to live on the estate, which he had devoted his life to. Louis Gaspard d’Estournel passed away two years before Cos d’Estournel received its Second Growth classification.
Cos d’Estournel has been passed around several families over the years. In 2000, Michel Reybier took over the property. Since owning the chateau, he has continuously followed the avant-garde style of Louis Gaspard d’Estournel.
The remarkable terroir, vineyard, and grapes of Cos d’Estournel
Located in the Medoc, Cos d’Estournel covers an area of 91 hectares. The deep soil consists of gravel and a limestone-subsoil. The grape vines are planted on the slopes of the Cos hill of Cos and its plateaus. Grape vines require distress to reach deeper in the ground, this helps them absorb nutrients and express the terroir.
The two grape varieties grown are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet-Franc and Petit-Verdot on 84 hectares of land. The average grape vine is 45 years old, and some are between 80-100 years old! Cos d’Estournel’s production area benefits from a microclimate thanks to its proximity to the Gironde and the Atlantic Ocean. The first wine from Cos d’Estournel is produced from vines that are approximately 55 years old.
Hands-off: Pure expression and elegance
Since the 1970s, Cos d’Estournel has been undergoing renovations. They want to modernise infrastructure, and use state-of the art equipment. In 2009, the new “gravity-cellars” allow for the truest expressions of the terroir and the grapes to shine. By using gravity, the wine is never touched by human hands. The chateau also has 72 stainless steel vats that are made for more exact temperature control. By using these techniques, Cos d’Estournel seeks to produce wines that are very rarely tampered with. The goal is to allow the terroir, grapes, and nature to show its purest self.
Cos d’Estournel’s first wine is mysterious and intriguing. It reveals its character slowly, demonstrating an elegant and fascinating charm. In addition to the first wine, a second wine “Les Pagodes de Cos” and a white “Cos d’Estournel Blanc” are also produced by the estate.château Cos d’Estournel futures 2016 Pagodes de Cos futures 2016