A very good first full day of Bordeaux en primeur tasting. A warm sunny day helped with filming for both Bloomberg and for the Asian Palate website. I only had time today to visit two properties – Cos d’Estournel and Haut Brion. At Cos d’Estournel, the super-second growth property in St Estephe, I was welcomed by the intense and affable Jean Guillaume Prats who I see as often in Asia as in Bordeaux. Considering the high expectations I had with the 2009s, I wasn’t disappointed with the flight of wines offered at Cos – Goulee (their Medoc wine), the Pagodes de Cos (2nd wine of Cos) and of course Cos itself, the Grand Vin.
The wines were as I had expected – filled with ripe concentrated fruit and velvety tannins. Surprisingly approachable and a joy to taste compared to tannic vintages such as 2002, which leaves your mouth parched and dusty. Compared to the 2008 Cos, which I thought was a huge success; this Cos had more muscle and density. This year’s Cos is a racehorse that is being groomed for the long haul race – ageing in a cellar for decades. I gave it 94-95 points.
The other two wines from Cos were equally impressive though they are at very different price points. Goulee at less than US$30 per bottle offers a lot of punch and power while Pagodes is charming with great depth for a second wine without a classification.
These wines will no doubt be well received in Asia. Jean Guillaume emphasised how important the Asian market is for Cos since more than 50% of the total production of 300,000 bottles per annum is sold to the Asian market. He is certain this portion will grow even further, especially in Hong Kong and China. All of his airmiles spent traveling to Asia has definitely paid off – Cos d’Estournel is one of the most widely recognised chateaux from Bordeaux and Jean Guillaume Prats is considered a friend to many Asian wine collectors and connoisseurs.