Recently, we were invited to attend a special birthday celebration for a special friend at his home along with about 50 other fortunate people, most of whom are also dear friends as well as being uber successful winemakers, retailers or in other aspects ITB.
The home itself was magnificent located high on a hill in a semi private neighborhood. It had expansive panoramic views of the Santa Ynez Valley and the valley side of the coastal mountains on a blue bird day that highlighted all of the vistas to behold prior to, during and after a marvelous sunset with ever changing shades of colors providing an almost surrealistic panoply of shapes, sizes and colors.
Greeted with NV Bollinger Grande Cuvee that was poured generously and graciously throughout the evening, we entered into the matrix of the home and I discovered 3 tasting stations our host had set up with extra special wines for all to sample along with a typed out review of the flights. Many of the wines were rare treasures and to taste them in the company of like and kind in verticals and other assorted lineups was an even greater treat.
While clinking glasses with an amazing compellation of wine passionate folks, I enjoyed many a taste and later on a cellar raid that went beyond what was already being gifted.
For simplicity sake, I`m reviewing the second of the 3 stations herein and doing the other 2 by way of separate documents.
Second Station: [I`m quoting the write up}
Cos d`Estournel Over 4 Decades- 79`, 83`, 94`, 05`
Cos was run by Bruno Pratts from 70` to 98` when it was sold to the Merlaut family. In 2000, Michel Reybier bought the property and in 2003, the style changed from “classic” to decidedly “Parker-esque”. Cos is old French [Gascon]- “hill of pebbles” and the name was given in 1810 by the then owner, Louis-Gaspard d`Estournel.
1979 CHATEAU COS d`ESTOURNEL ST.-ESTEPHE- absolutely fabulous; full of expression and vibrancy, this is in a perfect balanced place right now and a great example of one of the stars of this above average vintage; this had outstanding aromatics with a continuation of all of the first perceived pleasures continuing on into the taste profile and all the way to the back end; there was cedar, milk chocolate and mocha laced black cherry, blackberry and black currant served up in a smooth and lush texture along with welcomed depth and complexity offering layers upon layers of goodness; I would not want anything more from this wine and expect it to be consistently giving for many more years; my WOTN and that is really placing it on a pedestal.
1983 CHATEAU COS d`ESTOURNEL ST.-ESTEPHE- I was surprised to find this bottle where it was given such a fine vintage; there`s not even a resemblance to the 79` although this is good, it had less to offer on all levels; the nose had only a modest amount of perfume and the taste profile was pretty stingy in giving up a complete expression that perhaps once graced this bottle; the dark fruit had some dried components and it finished on the dry side once past mid palate; this bottle may have been a victim of having a tough act to follow.
1994 CHATEAU COS d`ESTOURNEL ST.-ESTEPHE- seriously forward and giving, it shined once I held the glass up to get a nose with tobacco, cedar and cigar box aromas followed by black cherry and black currant; I was not anticipating anything like this knowing the challenges of the vintage for most producers although Cos got this one correctly without tannic overload; although not soft, it had enough grace to allow for a good sensory experience all the through.
2005 CHAREAU COS d`ESTOURNEL ST.-ESTPEHE- youthful in every way and very early in a long lifetime journey, this was suggestive of really good things to come once evolved and more mature; it had good structure and loads of blue and black fruit with spices; the hallmark at this point is the soft and silky mouthfeel as the tannins are present but not overwhelming; with evolution, this could be an excellent example of power and finesse; I`d be happy to have more in my cellar and wait about 15 years with occasional tracking.
What a joy to have this well thought out, fresh from our host`s private cellar, opportunity to explore these wines. I felt equally so when tasting through the 1st and 3rd flights. See subsequent notes forthcoming for the 3rd flight.