Cos d'Estournel has released its 2011 today at €108 per bottle ex-negociant, 45% less than last year but still 40% more than other vintages.
UK merchants are selling the wine at £1200 a case.
The second wine, Pagodes de Cos, comes out at €30, down 25% on last year.
A third release comes from Pomerol’s Chateau Gazin, at €42, down 12.5% on last year.
Cos d’Estournel has for several years been one of the most renowned – or notorious – wines of the Medoc. Managing director Jean-Guillaume Prats tripled the price in 2009: the 2008 and 2007 vintages were released at €65 a bottle, while 2009 was released at €210. The 2010 was released at €198.
The general feeling in Bordeaux, one observer said, is that ‘Cos still hasn’t done enough after tripling the price in 2009, and there are lots of cheaper vintages out there.’
Those after bottled vintages of Cos from the less stellar vintages can choose from the 2001, 2004 or 2008 at around £850-900 a case.
The 2009 is now selling at around £2375, the 2010 just under £2000.
After hail at the beginning of September wreaked havoc in the Cos vineyards – and those of its neighbours in St Estephe – the 2011 was subject to rigorous selection.
Only 30% of the crop made it into the first wine, of which only 9,000 cases were made, compared with 21,000 last year.
Conversely, 21,000 cases of Pagodes de Cos were made, compared with last year’s 9,000.
Critics are pleased with the Cos d’Estournel 2011, however. Steven Spurrier for Decanter gave it four stars (18 points) and praised its ‘Rich blackcurrant fruit, slightly exotic Cos spiciness, structured smoothness and lovely elegant length’.
Berry Bros called it ‘magnificent’, and Farr Vintners said, ‘The savage selection process has really paid off with a wine of great density, power and richness. This is a big, bold wine with masses of black fruit, a viscous texture and good, ripe, balancing tannins. A modern day version of the 1996 – but better.’
Fine & Rare was less excited. The London merchant said the 2011 is ‘just managing to stay on the right side of “fresh”. It has decent concentration but this is no 2009 and its lack of force is replaced by a charm and open knit personality. Sure it lacks a bit of zip but this is very good quality.’
Written by Adam Lechmere and Jane Anson in Bordeaux