2012 Cos d'Estournel, St-Estèphe

SKU #1223218 95 points James Suckling

 Always excellent for the vintage. What a nose with currants, blackberries, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stones and wet earth too. Full-bodied and refined yet muscular and trim. Fabulously polished tannins. Try drinking in 2020.  (9/2015)

94 points Vinous

 The 2012 Cos d'Estournel is beautifully delineated and layered in the glass. A wine of nuance and precision, the 2012 possesses a remarkable combination of richness and detail. A blast of dark red cherry jam, rose petals, mint and cinnamon informs the deep, pliant finish. I imagine the 2012 will offer several decades of very fine drinking. This is a terrific 2012 with a good deal of upside potential. (AG)  (1/2016)

94 points Wine Enthusiast

 This is one of the vintages from Cos that seems to pull out all the stops. The fruit is so rich, the texture so dense, and deep flavors of chocolate back up the huge structure. It does work in its magnificent, flamboyant way. And at the end, the acidity does its part and gives the wine a final lift. Drink from 2024.  (5/2015)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2012 Cos d’Estournel is a classic expression of St.-Estèphe, with notes of graphite, crushed rock, blackberry, blackcurrant fruit, a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, structured, but well-integrated tannins and a long finish of 35 seconds or more. This is a beauty and an undeniable top success in the Médoc for 2012. Give it 4-6 years of cellaring and drink it over the following two decades or more. The final blend, which achieved 13.8% alcohol, is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot and the balance Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Certainly, proprietor Michel Reybier has done fabulous work since acquiring Cos d’Estournel well over a decade ago. The investment in a state-of-the-art, space-age winemaking facility and intense work in the vineyard have all combined to produce a wine of true first-growth quality. 93+ (RP)  (4/2015)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Juicy raspberry, blackberry and plum confiture notes roll along, while the bramble-edged structure and accents of roasted apple wood and spice fill in. The finish has a lightly firm plum skin edge, but overall there’s drive, intensity and depth to the pure fruit. A solid effort. Best from 2017 through 2025.  (3/2015)

88-91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright, full ruby. Aromas of fresh blackcurrant, graphite and bitter chocolate are complicated by delicately smoky minerality and lifted by an enticing floral quality. Fine-grained, generous and sweet, with plenty of sound acidity giving noteworthy precision to the palate. Finishes dense and long, with soft, polished tannins and lingering notes of red and darker fruits. A lovely Cos, more refined and less exotic than some previous vintages. You can tell they are de-leafing a great deal less at Cos of late and vintages since 2009 have shown less "solar" personalities and more precision. Interestingly, this is the first year in a long time that I recall Cabernet Franc making it into the grand vin at Cos. Winemaker Dominique Arangoits told me it's from a one-hectare parcel of 35-year-old vines on clay that ripened well, and it no doubt contributed to this wine's bright perfume. The grand vin represents 50% of the total production in 2012. (ID)  (6/2013)

Jancis Robinson

 Very dark and purple. Very interesting, almost putty nose. Intriguing and not so flamboyant and flashy as in some years. Really rather like Lafite 2012 on the nose! Perhaps a little tiny bit bitter on the finish but no excess of sweetness nor alcohol. Very measured. Solid impact. Very dry finish. I absolutely love the nose but find it a bit austere on the finish – but at least it is classic St-Estèphe. Slightly hard work at this stage; the most youthful wine I have tasted so far. '100% gravity-fed cellar helped us to be restrained in extraction', explained the new director Aymeric de Gironde. (17.5/20 points)  (4/2013)

K&L Notes

"Proprietor Michel Reybier has produced an outstanding 2012 Cos d’Estournel from a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot and the rest tiny quantities of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot," notes Robert Parker in Wine Advocate. "With a pH of 3.75 and alcohol level of 13.8% this is a ripe wine with the same tannin levels (IPH) as the 2009. The second wine, the 2012 Les Pagodes de Cos, represents 50% of the production."

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By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/1/2015 | Send Email
Great value here-Cos is always great and I really love the 2012. Has structure, but also sweetness on the palate.
Drink from 2016 to 2025

Additional Information:


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.


- 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.


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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.