2005 Cos d'Estournel, St-Estèphe (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1020894 99 points Jeb Dunnuck

Outer quote mark A lesson in genuinely great wine, the 2005 Cos d’Estournel is a monster of a wine that delivers an incredible level of opulence and decadence while staying weightless and elegant on the palate, with no sensation of heaviness. This is what truly great wine is all about. Based on 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, and the final 4% Cabernet Franc, this dense ruby/plum-hued Saint-Estèphe offers up a monster bouquet of blackcurrants, unsmoked tobacco, licorice, toasted bread, classy oak, and cedar pencil. While it starts out reserved and almost understated, this is a wine that blossoms with air (I drank this bottle over two days, showing best on day two). Full-bodied, powerful, and decadent on the palate, with moderate acidity, it has a wealth of silky tannins, a stacked mid-palate, and a great, great finish. It reminds me of the 2009, if not an improved 1982, or even a slightly fresher 2003. Regardless, it’s a thrilling wine in every sense, and I fear with the focus on acidity and freshness in today's wine world, we might not see this style of great wine for some time. Inner quote mark (6/2020)

99 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark The purity of fruit to this is fascinating with plums, currants and other dark fruits. Then there is another layer of spices and chocolate. So much cassis. Full and very layered with chewy polished tannins and a long, long finish. Inner quote mark (10/2016)

98 points Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark The 2005 Cos d'Estournel is blended of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc. Deep garnet colored, it is still a little closed and youthfully shy. With coaxing, the nose is just beginning to offer glimpses at vivacious kirsch, red roses, violets, licorice and mocha scents over a crème de cassis, blackberry pie and chocolate-covered cherry core with wafts of chargrill, mossy bark and truffles. Full-bodied, concentrated and wonderfully complex in the mouth, the palate is just beginning to reveal the true potential of this wine, with tightly wound layers of perfumed black fruits and earthy notions bound by a rock-solid frame of firm, grainy tannins and finishing with epic persistence. (LPB) Inner quote mark (11/2018)

97 points Decanter

Outer quote mark There have of course been great vintages since 2005, but the top examples from this year could be the greatest wines of the past two decades. The 2005 grapes were near perfect during the growing season, with flowering completed in three days, followed by similarly smooth and quick colour change and a harvest that finished on 9 October – a touch earlier than many of the neighbouring estates. The percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend is among the highest ever at this château. It tastes much younger than the 2004 vintage right now, as you would expect, but it's the rich and complex layers that really express the quality. It has the sense of cramming a handful of fruit into your mouth straight from the hedgerow, with cassis and crushed blackberry flavours. The tannins are soft but doing their job, with wonderful layers of liquorice and slate. Brambly, cheerful and effortless, there's an almost wild side to this wine, both free-flowing and more than living up to its reputation. Good luck trying to predict when this wine will reach its end. (JA) Inner quote mark (7/2018)

97 points Jane Anson

Outer quote mark Vibrant, with stately ruby red depths, touches of smoked oak, grilled cocoa bean and liqourice. This is powerful, with depths to the slate-strewn tannins. Tobacco, saffron, sage, crushed stones, baked earth, there is an opulent ripeness to the fruit, just on the precipice of tertiary. A lovely wine, big shouldered still with a few years before reaching its plateau. A few years ago I wrote of the Cos 2005, 'Good luck trying to predict when this wine will reach its end', and I still absolutely stand by that comment. 100% new oak. Inner quote mark (6/2022)

97 points Vinous

Outer quote mark The 2005 Cos d'Estournel is a magical wine. The aromatics alone as mesmerizing. Mocha, dried flowers, herbs and a whole range of deeply-pitched spice notes soar out of the glass. Explosive, deep and so full of character, the Cos dazzles from start to finish. Time in the glass brings out hints of rose petal, cedar and chocolate to round things out. Cos is one of the most exotic wines of 2005 and one of the vintage's undisputed successes. What a wine! (AG) Inner quote mark (4/2021)

97 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark Saint-Estèphe has a reputation for tannins, and this 2005 Cos lives up to that. But it does much more, because the tannins add richness along with intensely ripe black fruits, dark plums and figs. The dense tannins are finely balanced with fresh acidity, and a long-lasting aftertaste. Impressive. *Wine Enthusiast Best of 2008* (RV) Inner quote mark (6/2008)

96 points Int'l Wine Cellar

Outer quote mark Good ruby-red. Knockout nose combines currant, plum, minerals, licorice and graphite. Wonderfully sweet, rich and deep, but with near-perfect balancing acidity to frame the wine's lush fruit. This superb 2005 has it all. Finishes with noble, sweet tannins and palate-saturating persistence. On my most recent visit, winemaker Jean-Guillaume Prats told me he considered 2005 to be superior to the 2003, and that the '05 may be "our best wine ever." (ST) Inner quote mark (5/2008)

96 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark Still tight despite a gorgeous wave of rich melted licorice, fig bread, warm plum compote and steeped blackberry flavors. Lovely alder, black tea and balsam wood details give this added range and a sense of detail through the finish before a wall of graphite-edged grip shows up. We're still in wait mode here. *Top 100 Wine of 2008* (JM, Web-2018) Inner quote mark

Jancis Robinson

Outer quote mark Cassis on the nose, followed by a touch of liquorice and pencil lead, but there is still a lot more to come here – it's emerging at a snail's pace. The tannins are already drinkable, so you might coax more out of this with decanting. You'd never guess this was already a teenager. One for the long term. 17.5+/20 points (RH) Inner quote mark (11/2020)

K&L Notes

96 points Neal Martin in Vinous: "The 2005 Cos d'Estournel is a vintage that I have encountered several times over the years. Here, as part of a 2005 horizontal of the top Bordeaux, it mirrors previous bottles. It has a tightly-wound bouquet at first with blackberry, scorched earth, juniper and hints of leather. More backward that its peers and clearly requiring another three to five years or an extremely long decant. The palate is robust, masculine, dense and yet comes with fine tannins and plenty of energy. It has a precision that derives from its propitious terroir and yet there is no question that it needs 15, perhaps 20 years before it will reach its drinking plateau." (10/2018)

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