1998 Cos d'Estournel, St-Estèphe

SKU #996611 90 points James Suckling

 The 1998 vintage was not an outstanding one for most Cabernet-reds from Bordeaux, particularly from the Medoc. It rained in late September and affected the quality of the grapes. This said, most of the Right Bank, such as Pomerol and St-Emilion, made superlative wines since they harvest before the rains. In any case, the 1998 Cos was a delicious bottle showing a spicy and slightly herbal character on both the nose and palate with hints of currants and dried fruits. It was full and soft with velvety tannins.  (6/2016)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Red-ruby. Currant, black olive, minerals and currant leaf on the nose. Bright, pure and focused, with aromatic inner-mouth flavors of cedar and lead pencil. Austere but not dry. More fruity and less tannic than the '96, but of roughly similar weight. Finishes firmly tannic, with sneaky persistence. 90+ (ST)  (6/2001)

Jancis Robinson

 Mid crimson with the merest hint of development at the rim. Gravelly, light mineral nose - discreet and rather old-fashioned (in a good way) on the nose with a hint of cigar box. Very dry finish with marked acidity - very classic St-Estèphe. Relatively light weight but nicely calmed down and well integrated. Clean and mineral on the finish. Some sweetness. Confident. Mellow. Long.  (8/2013)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Bottled in April, 2000, this elegant, stylish, graceful wine is an attractive, dark ruby/purple-colored effort with subtle notes of sweet oak, licorice, herbs, and black fruits. While not massive, it is medium-bodied and ripe, with sweet tannin. Forty-eight percent of the production was utilized in this blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot. (RP)  (4/2001)

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Price: $119.99
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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 M├ędoc 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.


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.