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COS Chronicle

Forever Innovative

ARTICLE -

Innovation at the heart of Cos d’Estournel since 1791

Dare to be unique, go beyond the expected, seek constantly to improve and renew: these were the guiding principles of Cos d’Estournel’s founder Louis-Gaspard d’Estournel. Today Michel Reybier, owner of the estate for the past two decades, continues to pursue the same ideals: innovation is a means of revealing the soul of the estate, part of an ongoing commitment to deliver only the most superlative wines.

Louis-Gaspard d’Estournel was a builder with a vision, an adventurer with a passion for progress. From the moment he inherited a few hectares of vines in 1791, he sought to expand the estate, employing the most advanced techniques, even when they involved risk. The ideals of the “Maharajah of Saint-Estèphe,” as he was known, resonate in many of his choices, from his decision to consecrate the chateau, with its majestic and unexpected Pagodas, to the sole pursuit of winemaking, to his bypassing of the traditional Bordeaux negociant system (he travelled to India himself to sell his wine, topping the bottles with glass stoppers to guarantee the conservation of his precious nectars), his quest of exotic inspiration during travels abroad to forge a singular personality for the estate and his ceaseless passion for innovation, a driving force behind the estate both then and now.

Louis-Gaspard d’Estournel was a builder with a vision, an adventurer with a passion for progress.

Innovation is the lifeblood of the cellars, vineyard and wines of Cos d’Estournel. The team makes audacious choices in response to the precise and highly ambitious requirements of the estate: nothing is futile or superfluous; each decision is the result of meticulous consideration.

Today the estate’s main building remains dedicated to winemaking, housing fully renovated facilities beneath its Pagodas. Designed with constant input from the technical team, they offer optimal conditions for winemaking. As demonstrated by the inauguration of its entirely gravity-based wine cellars in 2008, a first in Bordeaux, Cos d’Estournel continues to pioneer modern techniques. Major investments over the past twenty years by Michel Reybier have allowed it to pursue the most cutting-edge methods.

Innovation is also key in the vineyard. An exhaustive and avant-garde mapping of the estate’s soils carried out in 2001 allows the team to intimately adapt their techniques to the needs of the vines and fully realize their potential. This passion for exploration also means seeking out new terroirs, hence the creation of Goulée by Cos d’Estournel in 2003, an ethereal, generous and truly original wine grown on a singular vineyard located in the northernmost reaches of the Médoc. Finally, Cos d’Estournel Blanc, first crafted in 2005 according to the same traditions as the estate’s grand vin, whose name it proudly shares, is the result of yet another revolutionary approach to a region historically dedicated to red wine.

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Innovation at Cos d’Estournel is also about preserving and paying tribute to the estate’s inimitable heritage. COS100 is a unique wine born of a passion for tradition and creativity, a tribute to the estate’s past and future. Planted by female winegrowers as their male counterparts battled on the front, the century-old vine plants of the “Parcelle des Femmes,” or “Ladies’ Plot,” deliver grapes that are the heart and soul of the estate. The exceptional 2015 harvest of these berries were used to craft a wine whose rarity is also a hallmark: it is the ultimate incarnation of a passion for intertwining innovation and tradition, itself the very essence of Cos d’Estournel.


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