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COS Chronicle

Cabinets of Curiosity

ARTICLE -

Comprehend and dream

Louis-Gaspard d’Estournel’s existence was shaped by his taste for exploring unknown lands, pursuing new adventures and travels and all things exotic, quite reminiscent of the curiosity cabinets that were exceedingly popular at his time.
So it seemed only natural that Cos d’Estournel would concoct a series of compositions to illustrate the taste, spirit and story behind each of the estate’s wines in the very same manner.

Cabinet de Curiosités - Cos d'Estournel

Explore the cabinets of curiosity imagined for the wines of Cos d’Estournel, their inspirations and evocations…

Domenico Remps - Cabinet of curiosities (1690)
Domenico Remps - Cabinet of curiosities (1690)

It was in the fifteenth century that ships from Europe began departing to explore unknown territories, returning months or even years later, with unthinkable tales of Maharajahs, extraordinary palaces, unimaginable animals and highly unusual tribes, their holds filled with treasures including strange objects, exotic plants, powerful and delicate spices, silks, instruments, drawings, paintings, jewelry and masks.

From this time of exhilarating effervescence through to the Age of Enlightenment, keen spirits with means nourished their curiosity and dreams with cabinets of curiosity in which they carefully displayed small treasures that had been brought back by the explorers of their times.
Their collections of singular and marvelous objects gleaned from faraway places opened their minds to the world and its mysteries as they sought to comprehend the meaning and beauty of natural, exotic and scientific specimens.

Louis-Gaspard d’Estournel’s existence was quite reminiscent of the curiosity cabinets that were exceedingly popular at his time.

It was in this world in the making, whose geographical contours were being mapped out from one voyage to the next, that Louis-Gaspard d’Estournel was born and raised. It was an enlightened period of history, one that allowed him to develop a strong, obstinate curiosity, a spirit of mind that pushed him to abolish limits and to send his wines as far as the mysterious lands of Asia. It was upon these journeys that he discovered that travelling the seas improved the conditions of his wines, which he sometimes traded for Indian horses.
Throughout his life, his curiosity fostered an openness to modern thinking, audacity and innovation, so that he would continually go further in his exploration of an unknown world and invent and experiment unusual agricultural, technological, architectural and sales techniques.

The legacy of an enlightened spirit that Louis-Gaspard d’Estournel left behind continues to live on in the walls, the vines and the cellars of his estate, as if his frenzied curiosity—bizarre, colorful and sensual—were still nourishing the very essence of the wines of Cos d’Estournel.

Frans Francken - Art and curiosities (1636)

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