En Primeur Releases: 21 June 2021
21 June 2021
Cos d’Estournel has been on a truly remarkable roll with huge scores from the key critics for each of the last five vintages – and the new 2020 continues this procession. It is released today at GBP 1800/12. Celebrating 20 years of ownership, Michel Reybier will adorn the 2020 Cos with a one-off gold printed bottle as pictured here.
“I love the way this Cos d'Estournel shimmies and shines—a unique vintage signature expressed so beautifully at this estate!” Lisa Perrotti-Brown
As we have come to expect there is a legion of fans for the 2020 Cos, but there are a few key points that really stand out in the critics’ observations: Neal Martin admires its “freshness and a sense of light” and the way it delivers its layers of fruit, then with time, “more Saint-Estèphe-like traits: freshly tilled soil, cigar box and touches of warm gravel.” This sense of quiet, detailed perfection is also admired by Bordeaux guru Michael Schuster who states “a ripeness absolutely without excess, and remaining so fresh; subtle, flattering, prolonged, quietly aristocratic, the very essence of grand vin, and with terrific persistence.” US critic Jeff Leve agrees: “This is a refined vintage for COS. You find lower alcohol and the wine feels more energetic on the palate and in the finish”.
“A most complete and refined claret of first-growth quality” Michael Schuster
From its peak high up on the St Estephe escarpment, looking down onto Lafite at the north end of Pauillac, Cos d’Estournel’s mystical eastern-inspired Chateau has always produced wines of exotic hedonism. The last decade has seen a real shift in style focusing on creating wines that are beautifully balanced with classical elegance and finesse. The team are clearly increasingly driven to reflect the remarkable mineral terroir of the estate rather than the sheer power of its opulent fruit.
Another year, another great Cos.
The estate’s ever-improving deuxieme vin Pagodes de Cos 2020 is also available at GBP 372. This is very definitely designed to be an earlier-drinking expression of the hallowed Cos terroir but it lacks no quality as a result of its forward style: indeed Michael Schuster states “This is so complete and harmonious, you would never have identified it as a second wine 20 years ago ... even ten. Glorious “second” claret.”
96-98pts LPB, robertparker.com “The 2020 Cos d'Estournel is composed of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon and 38% Merlot. The harvest took place September 10–24 with a yield of 39 hectoliters per hectare. The alcohol weighs in at 13.46% with a pH of 3.9 and an IPT (total phenolic index) of 80. It is being aged in French oak barrels, 55% new. Deep purple-black in color, it pops with explosive scents of ripe red and black currants, black cherry preserves and black raspberries, followed by sparks of violets, wild sage, pencil lead and clove oil, with emerging hints of iron ore and damp soil. The medium-bodied palate has amazing elegance and grace contrasted by jaw-dropping energy, featuring a firm frame of finely grained tannins and just enough freshness, finishing with a whole firework display of mineral nuances. I love the way this Cos d'Estournel shimmies and shines—a unique vintage signature expressed so beautifully at this estate!”
95-97pts Neal Martin, vinous “The 2020 Cos d’Estournel is a very different proposition to the Les Pagodes, more so than in other years. Much more intense on the nose of intense black fruit, it is beautifully defined, with enticing scents of blackberry, Dorset plum and topnotes of blueberry and briar. After 30 minutes in the glass, it develops more Saint-Estèphe-like traits: freshly tilled soil, cigar box and touches of warm gravel. There is an openness to these inviting aromatics. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins (so different from the "iron girders" of yore). There is freshness and a sense of light in this Cos d’Estournel, though the backbone remains in situ on the cedar and mint finish (a nod to neighboring Pauillac, perhaps), then a lingering marine/seaweed note on the aftertaste. This is a finely crafted, very succinct Cos d’Estournel that may well be hiding something up its sleeve for after bottling, and I suspect it will gain more spine during its barrel aging.”
97-98pts Michael Schuster, WOFW “Subtle black fruit, and a lovely, insistent gravel impression, already a nose that really tempts one to linger; rich, medium-full, beautifully, imperceptibly defined by its acidity and with superfine, velvety tannin; here is a mouthcoating, sweetly ripe Cabernet core, but a ripeness absolutely without excess, and remaining so fresh; subtle, flattering, prolonged, quietly aristocratic, the very essence of grand vin, and with terrific persistence. Great Cos, providing the sort of sensory satisfaction and appeal you get in a rich, detailed, sustained mezzoforte chord from a prime orchestra. A most complete and refined claret of first-growth quality. There is such polish in all the Cos wines—a great tribute to the team, led by Dominique Arangoits. 2030–60+.”
97-99pts Jeff Leve “Deep garnet in hue, the wine shoots from glass with tobacco leaf, currants, spice box, cigar wrapper, blackberry and cassis. Elegant, fresh and vibrant, the wine is silky, long and precise. There is a cool spicy note that rides along with all the layers of soft, polished fruits on the mid-palate and in the finish. This is a refined vintage for COS. You find lower alcohol and the wine feels more energetic on the palate and in the finish, even though the pH is high at 3.9. Let it sleep for at least a decade before popping a cork. Produced from a blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon and 38% Merlot, 13.46 % ABV, the harvest took place September 10 to September 24.”
97pts Jane Anson, Decanter “You need to take a little time to let the concentrated flavours seep out, this is a long hauler. The tannins build slowly but surely through the palate, sombre and serious right now, particularly for an estate that is known for its exuberance. The opulence is there if you give it time, and as the tannins elongate and relax, richer notes of bilberry fruits, toasted cedar, salted chocolate, turmeric and black pepper spice arrives. Harvest September 10 to 24. A 3.9pH is the highest since 2003, but any threat of low acidity is balanced by high tannins, and relatively low alcohol. A yield of 39hl/ha (43hl/ha in 2019).”
97-98pts James Suckling “This is a very refined, polished Cos with superb finesse and length. Medium-to full-bodied, very fine and persistent. Really long with beautiful tannins. Rich, but fresh and linear. Yet, the alcohol is around 13.5%. 62% cabernet and 38% merlot.”
GBP 1800 per case/12 IB
Other formats are available:
Halves – GBP 1820 per case/24 IB
Magnums – GBP 1810 per case/6 IB
Double magnums – GBP 1890 per case/3 IB
Imperials – GBP 1245 each IB
92-94pts Jeff Leve “Fresh, bright, spicy and almost ready to go. The wine is medium-bodied, savory, lifted and polished. The fresh, red pit fruits are accompanied by tobacco leaf, spice, cigar box and savory notes on the nose, palate and finish. Drink this young while waiting for the Grand Vin to develop. The wine blends 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot.”
93-94pts James Suckling “This is a racy Pagodes with beautiful fruit and tannins that leave a nice, persistent finish. Medium to full body. Savory finish. Tight and clean.”
90-92pts Michael Schuster, WOFW “Fresh, sweetly ripe Cabernet to smell, and mineral, too, “serious” immediately, just to smell! Rich medium-weight, fresh, with superfine tannins, a lovely balance; supple, fleshy, graceful, detailed wine, with remarkable complexity for Pagodes, and lovely length to finish. This is so complete and harmonious, you would never have identified it as a second wine 20 years ago ... even ten. Glorious “second” claret. 2025–35+.”
GBP 372 per case/12 IB
Other formats are available:
Halves – GBP 392 per case/24 IB
Magnums – GBP 382 per case/6 IB
Double magnums – GBP 462 per case/3 IB
Imperials – GBP 293 each IB
Pavie Macquin is another wine that has been in a purple patch of form over the past decade and their 2020 is another knockout. It has been released today at GBP 691/12.
This vintage proved beyond all doubt that St Emilion is really happy in its new groove, delivering wines which prize freshness over power and vineyard expression over concentration. For it is easy to forget that St Emilion boasts one of the most complex arrays of soil types, aspects and varietal blends of anywhere in Bordeaux – something which in the past few vintages has started to once again, thankfully, become clear. However the 2020 vintage also supplied oodles of that rich, inky dark fruit and intoxicating aromatics and few achieve this more clearly, along with a quite startling mineral character, than Pavie Macquin.
“one of the most alluring and complete recent vintages I can remember tasting. In a word: dazzling.” Antonio Galloni
“shimmers with energetic red and black fruit layers and loads of floral and earthy sparks… A real head-turner!” Lisa Perrotti-Brown
“I love this wine, which has a monster of a mid-palate yet stays tight and focused on the palate, with riveting precision.” Jeb Dunnuck
One of the jewels in the crown of the Thienpont family estates (on the Nicolas Thienpont side) alongside the much lauded Larcis Ducasse, this remarkable piece of terroir up on the steep ‘côtes’ combines a multitude of different soils and aspects giving a variety of characters and textures from across the property. Just down the hill from resurgent Troplong Mondot and cousin Jacques Thienpont’s L’if estate, the terroir boasts an ideal blend of clay and limestone; this helped the land hold up magnificently during the hot summer and kept the vines amply supplied.
At the price this wine delivers enormous ‘bang for buck’ and provides the perfect combination of freshness, minerality, fruit purity and power for which these St Emilion hillside estates were once so famed. The good times are back… don’t miss out.
96-98pts LPB, robertparker.com “The 2020 Pavie Macquin has an opaque purple-black color, exploding from the glass with an intoxicating perfume of violets, Ceylon tea, forest floor and eucalyptus over a core of blackberry preserves, Morello cherries and stewed plum, plus wafts of crushed rocks and unsmoked cigars. The medium to full-bodied palate shimmers with energetic red and black fruit layers and loads of floral and earthy sparks, framed by exquisitely ripe, finely grained tannins and amazing tension, finishing with a long-lingering perfume of black fruits. A real head-turner!”
95-98pts Antonio Galloni, vinous “The 2020 Pavie Macquin is one of the most exotic Saint-Émilions of the year. Inky red fruit, lavender, rose petal, mint, plum and kirsch all open in the glass. Succulent and racy to the core, the 2020 possesses mind-blowing intensity yet remains fresh, vibrant and full of energy. It is one of the most alluring and complete recent vintages I can remember tasting. In a word: dazzling.”
96-98pts Jeff Leve “Inky in color, with dark purple accents, the wine explodes with flowers, incense, licorice, black fruit and touches of blueberries. Rich, intense, flamboyant, sensuous and silky, this hits all your pleasure buttons simultaneously. The wine paints your palate with layers of decadently ripe fruit that is simultaneously sweet, fresh and dense. The seamless finish does not quit. Instead it builds and expands, growing in intensity and complexity. This is going to be stunning with a decade or so of aging.”
95-97+pts Jeb Dunnuck “This cooler, limestone terroir has created a gorgeous 2020 Château Pavie Macquin displaying the classic, pure, elegant style that’s common from this address. Inky colored, with incredible cassis fruits as well as notes of white flowers, candle way, tobacco leaf, and charcoal, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, flawless balance, and a great finish. I love this wine, which has a monster of a mid-palate yet stays tight and focused on the palate, with riveting precision. Based on 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, it’s going to need a good decade of bottle age but will be incredibly long-lived. Tasted twice.”
95-96pts James Suckling “Sweet-berry and orange-peel aromas with hints of stone and oak on the nose. Medium-bodied with firm tannins and a fine-grained finish. Restrained plushness to this. Reserved.”
95pts Jane Anson, Decanter “There is a richness here, a powerful spread of black fruits, that grabs you from the start. Perhaps less razor precision than the Larcis Ducasse (also part of the Nicolas Thienpont stable) but more width and depth of flavour. This has texture and brambled power, sappy saline on the finish, touches of austerity, graphite laced through with grilled cassis and aniseed. Some reduction at this point, will clear over barrel ageing. Tasted several times, and each time the pumice stone and chalk of limestone grips on and will not let go. A yield of 31hl/ha.”
GBP 691 per case/12 IB
Other formats are available:
Halves – GBP 711 per case/24 IB
Magnums – GBP 701 per case/6 IB
Double magnums – GBP 781 per case/3 IB
Imperials – GBP 506 each IB