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COS Chronicle

The Genesis of a Most Unusual Vintage


2020 Harvest

Each year, the weather leaves its mark on the terroir of Cos d’Estournel. 2020 was characterized by highly unusual, even breathtaking weather conditions that required our teams and our vines to draw upon their most precious resources and surpass themselves, with exceptional results.

Following a damp winter, our clay soils were replete with water and prepared for the growing cycle. In spring, as the rest of the world slowed its pace, the vineyard at Cos d’Estournel developed vigorously: dry, warm temperatures led to bud break ten days earlier than usual. Sustained warm weather would make precocious development a hallmark of the vintage.
A crucial and decisive event in the growing cycle, flowering began on May 21 and took place very rapidly, evenly and early, in a powerful echo of the 2005 vintage. The estate’s grapes produced a large quantity of seeds, and their tannins would bring unusual energy to the vintage.

1009 - Photo n°2

Some rain was followed by a radical shift in mid-June, when the hot, dry weather essential to the ripening of grapes was met with great enthusiasm. It was followed by light rain in mid-August that arrived at exactly the right moment for the estate’s gravelly soils.
The ideal location of our terroir, which allows constant ventilation of the vineyard, coupled with an Indian summer that lasted from August 24 through to harvest, allowed the estate’s grapes to reach full maturity and concentration levels, especially in their skins and seeds. The 2020 harvest would take place in a perfectly healthy vineyard.

Atypical, our Merlot grapes this year are sweet with extraordinary freshness and energy and low alcohol content, while our Cabernet grapes are very small in size but incredibly powerful and rich. The 2020 vintage has already shown itself to be full of promise, and we know it has many more surprises in store. The first tastings have already given rise to strong emotions, and we have no doubt that our partners will feel the same way upon tasting the vintage starting in April 2021 . . .

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