Friday, November 23, 2012

1985 Chateau Cos d' Estournel Saint Estephe Bordeaux France

You probably noticed lately that my notes describe more expensive and high quality wines, and not anymore or rarely the good value that I used to taste, buy and write about.

Well, don't get any idea that I may have won the lottery, far from it, I just changed my job a few months ago and my boss is a wine lover and collector who has a great palate and extremely good taste for fancy rare and refined wines.

As one of the directors for his company's wine division and personal Sommelier, I do not buy anymore wines or even taste as much as I used to before while buying for boutique retailers and restaurants and I'm less aware of the current market.

However, I now get to taste some truly rare gems that I have never and surely will never be able to afford. Hence, even if only with words, I like to share these delightful experiences with you on my blog. It reminds me when I was a young Sommelier / Wine Buyer in London 15 years ago working with award winning wine lists full of these rare jewels.

I feel privilege and lucky every time I open one of these bottles, because rare and few like me have the opportunity to taste some if these truly sought after and revered wines combining history and stories, conveying emotions and nostalgia, as well as being the pinnacle of drinking luxury and the collection's centerpieces of the most established auction houses around the world from New York to London, Geneva and Hong Kong.

Nevertheless, I continue to drink pleasant, enticing, more approachable and accessible wines at home. Therefore I will go down from the luxury cloud from time to time to come back to reality and elaborate about everyday wines for everybody, not only the rich and fortunate.

Moreover, only writing about expensive wines will be like denying my roots and culture, and as a countryside Frenchman and grandson of a local winemaker, I feel the need to remain faithful to the small, independent, lesser known producers and appellations, which also corresponds more to my personality and interests.

I have been lucky enough to have tasted quite a few bottles of the following wine in this classic vintage, and I can't get enough of it. Most bottles that I have opened, although quite similar in taste and profile, behaved differently each time and evolved through the last 15 years, but the quality of the wine has remained constant to this day despite going through time and various storage conditions and handling. An undeniable sign of quality and potential for a wine of such a pedigree.

1985 Chateau Cos d' Estournel 2eme Cru Classe Saint Estephe Bordeaux France

In the glass, it exhibited a bright garnet color with slight brownish-brick nuances. The nose was nice and expressive right after opening; but knowing already that this wine needed to breath to fully unloaded its aromatic palette, I decanted it and went back to it after 30 minutes. It was then a fresh explosion of secondary and tertiary aromas. A meli-melo of nuances and hints all at the same time, dark and red berry fruit mingling with figs and old prune, mixed with floral, underbrush and oaky notes as well as mild spice, tobacco, saddle wood and soil.What a lovely nose. The palate was even more exhilarating and unexceptionably youthful (not all bottles are like that by experience, but this one was showing particularly well that day). Complex, rich with great acidity and earthiness, lively red and dark fruit and similar flavors as the nose suggested, but with more earthy, terroir oriented notes. Very long, well balanced and enticing, I loved it. It even showed the potential, texture and structure, combining the needed amount of fruit, acidity and tannins to last for quite a few more years. Definitely a pleasurable wine to get back to and give it a few more years to see how long it will last.    

Tasted on 18.7.2012


LeDom du Vin


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