1996 Cos d'Estournel, St-Estèphe

SKU #110449 94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Saturated deep ruby. Ineffable aromas of black fruits, minerals, licorice and Havana tobacco. Rich, dense and thick; powerful but harmonious. Layered texture over a strong backbone. Very long on the palate, with thoroughly ripe, noble cabernet tannins. Superb.  (6/ 1999)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Made from 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot, this is a huge, backward wine. The 1996 possesses an opaque purple color, as well as pure aromatics consisting of cassis, grilled herbs, coffee, and toasty new oak. Massive in the mouth, and one of the most structured and concentrated young Cos d'Estournels I have ever tasted, this thick, structured, tannic wine has closed down significantly since bottling. It requires 7-8 years of cellaring, and should last for 30-35 years. It is a fabulous Cos, but patience is required. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2030.  (4/ 1999)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Lots of tobacco, berry and spice character on the nose. Light herbal undertone. Full-bodied, with fine tannins and a caressing, pretty-textured finish. Chewy. I would wait a little. 1995 looks better to me now. Outstanding but not as exciting as I remember.--'95/'96 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2008. (Web-2007)

Jancis Robinson

 Healthy ruby. Some development on the nose with some exotic herbal notes. Sweet start and very dense. Very fine tannins. A bit more angular than some. Still admirably youthful.  (2/ 2011)

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Price: $229.99

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 By: Adam S. |  Review Date: 11/23/2012 
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November 2012: Almost everything that made this vintage a blockbuster is now dead. Did not improve after breathing.

April 2010: Huge tobacco and smoke on the nose and tasting when I tasted this wine at the end of 2002 and in 2003. Of the hundred or so wines that I've had over the past few years, this one stands out. A monumental wine.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

- View our bestselling Bordeaux.
Specific Appellation:

Saint Estephe

- The northern-most of the Medoc communes, St. Estephe is quickly becoming one of the favorite areas for both high quality and great value Bordeaux reds. While it has fewer classified growths than the other communes, it also boasts some of the hottest up and coming chateaux of the last several. The most famous chateaux are the second growths Montrose and Cos d'Estournel with Calon Segur (3rd growth), Lafon Rochet (4th growth), and Cos Labory (5th growth) rounding out the cru classe wines. Cabernet Sauvignon dominates the area, but plantings of Merlot are on the rise resulting in rounder, fatter, flashier wines than in years past.