Château Cos d’Estournel’s fame was established by its namesake Louis-Gaspard d’Estournel who was born in 1762 during the reign of Louis XV. He inherited Cos in 1810 and quickly recognised its viticultural potential planting his first vines in 1811. M. d’Estournel was responsible for enlarging the vineyards and soon saw Cos’ reputation for quality grow both in France and abroad. He found success in India where his wine sold at prices far above his rivals. He became known as “the Maharaja of Saint Estèphe” and to celebrate this success he built the pagoda style property which today is still one of the most recognisable sites in Bordeaux. This ambitious building signalled the owner’s intent to produce wines that would be world renowned even in such faraway places as China. Unfortunately, d’Estournel died bankrupt in 1853 just before the 1855 classification when the estate was classified as Deuxième Cru Classé. The property changed hands several times in the 19th century. Cos d’Estournel was purchased by Fernand Ginestet in 1917 and his grandsons Jean-Marie, Yves and Bruno Prats inherited the Château in the late 1880s. Under Bruno Prats’ leadership significant improvements were made and the reputation of this underperforming Château was reversed.
Today, Jean Guillaume, Bruno Prats’ son is the president of Cos and works alongside the new owner Michel Reybier who bought the estate in 2000. Château Cos d’Estournel is the finest wine produced in the appellation of Saint-Estèphe and the only wine in this appellation to be ranked a Second Growth in the 1855 Classification. Perched on a hill of pebbles (‘Cos’ in the Gascon language), the estate is located just north of Château Lafite, near the border with Pauillac.
Cos d’Estournel is an impressive wine, intense in youth with a masculine structure and concentrated fruit; it develops slowly but beautifully to release a unique perfume of incense not found in other Bordeaux wines. The estate is one of the most consistent performing higher ranked Crus and the introduction of such innovations as gravity-controlled cellars will keep this fantastic wine at the forefront for years to come.