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‘Bonkers’ Cos flies off the shelves at nearly €300

Chateau Cos d’Estournel's 2009 first wine will be sold on to negociants at €210 a bottle.

This is some 233% up on the price of the 2008, and twice as expensive as the going rate for the 2005 and the 2000.

It is being sold for between €289 and €300 per bottle.

Cos was one of the most controversial wines of the vintage, with some variance in its reception by critics.

Steven Spurrier in Decanter gave it 18.5 points out of 20 and described it as ‘really quite massive’.

‘It will take years to pick up finesse,’ he wrote, ‘a “baroque” almost Porty wine, explosively rich and definitely impressive if not a typical Saint-Estèphe.’

Jancis Robinson, by contrast, gave it a modest 16.5, calling it ‘much more demanding than most 2009s… To be generous I’m assuming that in the far distant future it may resolve itself but I can’t quite understand why they let the grapes get so ripe.’

Robinson also threw down the gauntlet to Robert Parker (who gave it 98-100) by saying it reminded her of the Pavie 2003, a wine which she described as ‘porty’ and ‘ridiculous’, a comment which sparked a war of words between the two critics.

Parker gave Cos a high 98-100 and called it ‘one of the greatest young wines I have ever tasted – in the world!’

For their part, the merchants seem delighted with the price. Simon Staples at Berry Bros – big fans of the St Estephe second growth – said he ‘expected nothing less’.

‘Reassuringly expensive… As bonkers as we anticipated it to be but we love him [managing director Jean-Guillaume Prats] for it.’

Other merchants agreed. Fine & Rare called it ‘a perfectly judged price on a perfectly judged wine’.

As to whether it would sell or not, all merchants canvassed this morning assured decanter.com that it had already sold out. Stephen Browett at Farr Vintners said he had bought 1000 cases and they had all gone.

Staples, in answer to the question, ‘would it sell?’ simply replied, ‘HAS sold’.

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Written by Adam Lechmere

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