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Château Cos d’Estournel 2009
Chateau is named after 19th Century owner Louis
Gaspard d’Estournel, whose travels in the Orient
influenced the design of the Chateau and cellars,
earning him the nickname ‘maharajah of St Estèphe’.
Reybier, the current owner who acquired the estate
in 2000, has tried to stay true to the avant-garde
style of Louis Gaspard and this is shown in the
recent overhaul to the Chateau, cellars and Vat
Michel Reybier acquired the estate in 2000, brand
and image have been an integral part of the
development of Cos d’Estournel. From the
aforementioned renovation work to the stylised
labelling and subsequent release of the third wine,
Goulée – a special project between Reybier and Prats
– a conscious strategy to present Cos as not only
the leading St Estephe but to create a brand that
will be marketable to the emerging markets.
Discussions of a possible takeover of California
winery Chateau Montelena emerged a few years ago and
this seemingly underlines Reybier and Prats’
strategy to promote the Cos brand by following in
the footsteps of other left bank producers who have
developed projects in California and South America.
d’Estournel has earned significant praise for its
wines over the last ten years and has enjoyed great
success under the joint stewardship of
Jean-Guillaume Prats and Michel Reybier. The Chateau
certainly takes its place as one of the leading
super-second’s and the last three vintages are
testament to the continued efforts to produce
first-growth quality wine on a consistent basis. The
wines have been described by the critic Clive Coates
as possessing ‘power and finesse’ and these
sentiments are reciprocated by both Parker and James
Suckling. The critical praise for Cos d’Estournel
style isn’t unmitigated and has in recent years
The 2009 Cos d’Estournel is one of the greatest
young wines I have ever tasted ... in the world! An
extraordinary effort I tasted on two separate
occasions, this blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and
the rest primarily Merlot with a dollop of Cabernet
Franc has a whopping 14.5% alcohol, but a remarkably
normal pH of 3.69. Kudos to Jean-Guillaume Prats and
owner Michel Reybier for this amazing wine made from
yields of 33 hectoliters per hectare. It will be a
legendary claret that should last for 50-60 years. A
black/purple color is accompanied by aromas of
graphite, ink, creme de cassis, blackberries, cedar,
and incense. Full-bodied and unctuously textured,
with an ethereal personality, tons of nuances, and a
burgeoning complexity, it is an enormously
well-endowed, fresh, perfectly balanced tour de
force in winemaking. As mentioned above, it should
drink well for 50-60 years. This wine possesses this
vintage’s classic characteristics of enormous power,
massive fruit, and extraordinary freshness and
precision - largely unprecedented, particularly for
Cabernet-based wines in the Medoc. (Tasted two
TThe data provided by liv-ex, shows the average market value since its release at en primeur. The graph shows the price has stayed pretty flat, fluctuating between a high of £2,780 and a low of £2,500. Despite, the grand vin being released at the its highest ever level the market has supported this over the last 16 months. It hasn’t however shown any significant growth to date, but the current performance shows that this price level is sustainable for Cos d’Estournel.
Whilst some 2009 wines have suffered in the last quarter of 2011 as the market has seen prices soften and the index drop off by some 18%, Cos 2009 has resisted this downward movement. In part this has been a result of the favourable tasting in Hong Kong and the in-bottle score of 100 pts awarded by James Suckling. With these factors in mind, it can be deemed that speculation or investor confidence has helped maintain the value of Cos ’09 in the current market conditions.
In terms of quality comparison, the 2009 is unprecedented, so it is difficult to understand the investment potential of the 2009 in comparison with the ‘great’ vintages of 2005 (98 pts), 2003 (98 pts) and 1982 (95 pts).
Taking everything into account we would expect that Cos d’Estournel has the potential to trade at £5,000 per case in the future. Over a 3-5 year investment hold we fully expect this wine to achieve 15% per annum and with current market trends expected to see demand for the top wines increase 10 fold over the next decade, it could outperform these expectations. As a potential 100 point wine from Parker, it will certainly hold its value and we consider this a low risk stock. Furthermore as a part of a balanced wine portfolio this will provide value, growth potential and low risk.
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