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Enjoyed at the Cos and Vieux Chateau Certan tasting dinner. Separated for easy reading.

Described by JGP as one of the best Cos produced ever. He honestly said he did not know when this wine would enter its plateau. 70% Cab Sauvignon.

Very dark colour. Initial nose was strange: simple and fruity like a bottle of Cali cab, some oak, some bell pepper, spice, natural caramel. The nose developed as the wine opened, and with tasting to such a different wine exhibiting a refined classic Cos smell.

Mouthfeel was extraordinary. The wine had layers and layers of fat fruit, completely full bodied, soft yet with a spine of tannin. So mouthfilling. Such unbelievable strength and balance of fruit, tannin and acid - hard to really describe. Unbelievable length. I was gobsmacked. This wine is near perfect and absolutely stunning. My WOTN.

BirD
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As mentioned in another cos thread, green pepper isn't necessarily a flaw. I think it's in the same family of tastes that leads to cedar, which I personally find very attractive. Also, many 78s exhibit some green pepper but fleshed out to be beautiful complex wines, although maybe not as good as the vintage hype was at the time (I wouldn't know, I was 10 in 1978).

In my experience a lot of the 03s taste great right now, albeit very young. As I sit here I'm drinking an 03 St Pierre (from St Julien) which is quite delicious on it's 3rd night. The wines of 03 are terrifically ripe with extremely long finishes, and great mouthfeel. They may not stand the test of time, and end up maturing prematurely, but we'll find that out in another 10-20 years or so.

Thanks for the TN, BD.
I have 3 bottles of the '03 Cos d'Estournel and 3 bottles of the '03 Montrose...When would you guys recommend me cracking these? I’m patient and will wait 10-20 years if need be, I just don’t want to open and "test" at this point because by the time I find the peak, ill have no more bottles left!

Thanks
Last edited by godx
godx,

I've had the '03 Montrose twice now. It is FANTASTIC straight out of the bottle but if it sits in the decanter for a couple of hours it begins to close down slightly. If I were you, I would probably open one now a few hours before you want to drink it but I would not decant. I think you'll love it and will probably chose to keep both of the other two 15+ years, but I think you'll be very happy that you got a chance to taste the wine young before it went to sleep.
uh-oh. Good thing for me Board-O doesn't write the laws.

For what its worth, in the past couple of years I've had the '70 (twice), '75, '86, '89, '90 (3 times), '95 and '96 so I consider myself somewhat educated on how Montrose ages and what I might be missing by opening the wine now. If you only like aged Bordeaux, then wait. But this wine is an argument that Boardeaux can be captivating young, too. (This is actually giving up more than the RP 100 '90 right now.)
For what its worth, in the past couple of years I've had the '70 (twice), '75, '86, '89, '90 (3 times), '95 and '96 so I consider myself somewhat educated on how Montrose ages and what I might be missing by opening the wine now. If you only like aged Bordeaux, then wait. But this wine is an argument that Boardeaux can be captivating young, too. QUOTE]

Between the 95 and 96 which is your favorite? And which one is drinking the best?
godx

If you can stand it, try one of the '03's just to get a sense of what they are like. This was the first super second/first '03 I've tried and I have to say that if the 3 bottles of Latour are supposed to be better than this, I am a deliriously happy man!!

On green pepper, providing it is not overpoweringly pervasive and there are other aromas and tastes to counterbalance, I like it in wine. I've had a few wines where the pepper is just too prominent in wines lacking flesh. In Cos, it seems to be part of the DNA, and the balance of the wines make the wine even more interesting.

BirD
quote:
Originally posted by Gibby:
quote:
For what its worth, in the past couple of years I've had the '70 (twice), '75, '86, '89, '90 (3 times), '95 and '96 so I consider myself somewhat educated on how Montrose ages and what I might be missing by opening the wine now. If you only like aged Bordeaux, then wait. But this wine is an argument that Boardeaux can be captivating young, too.


Between the 95 and 96 which is your favorite? And which one is drinking the best?


I think both are drinking well now but I think Montrose might be an example of the opposite of the general philosophy about '96 being more approachable than '95. The '95 is easily better in absolute terms right now, but I think the '96 could catch up a bit if it opened up slightly and shed some bell pepper, which it may do over the course of the next 5 or so years.
quote:
Originally posted by winetarelli:
uh-oh. Good thing for me Board-O doesn't write the laws.

For what its worth, in the past couple of years I've had the '70 (twice), '75, '86, '89, '90 (3 times), '95 and '96 so I consider myself somewhat educated on how Montrose ages and what I might be missing by opening the wine now. If you only like aged Bordeaux, then wait. But this wine is an argument that Boardeaux can be captivating young, too. (This is actually giving up more than the RP 100 '90 right now.)


Captivating does not equal ready. It's a concept few seem to understand. Of the vintages you mentioned, only the 1970 and 1975 are ready. I had the 1916 and the 1949 10 or 15 years ago, and they weren't captivating, they were magnificent wines at their peak. The reason the 1990 isn't showing its 100 points is because it's a decade or more away from ready. I never ceased to be amazed at the waste of wine here.
quote:
Originally posted by Board-O:
quote:
Originally posted by winetarelli:
uh-oh. Good thing for me Board-O doesn't write the laws.

For what its worth, in the past couple of years I've had the '70 (twice), '75, '86, '89, '90 (3 times), '95 and '96 so I consider myself somewhat educated on how Montrose ages and what I might be missing by opening the wine now. If you only like aged Bordeaux, then wait. But this wine is an argument that Boardeaux can be captivating young, too. (This is actually giving up more than the RP 100 '90 right now.)


Captivating does not equal ready. It's a concept few seem to understand. Of the vintages you mentioned, only the 1970 and 1975 are ready. I had the 1916 and the 1949 10 or 15 years ago, and they weren't captivating, they were magnificent wines at their peak. The reason the 1990 isn't showing its 100 points is because it's a decade or more away from ready. I never ceased to be amazed at the waste of wine here.


No reason to beat this horse to glue, but I completely agree with you about the '90. But that is my point. If someone asked me "should I open a '90 Montrose now?" I would say, "No. It isn't ready, it will be so much better in 10 years." Or if you wanted to look at a different '03, if someone asked me, "Should I open a 2003 Lafite now?" I would say, "No. Wait 25+ years." In both of those cases the wines are very tight and not showing nearly their potential. In the case of the '03 Montrose (and, apparently, the Cos) the wines ARE showing A potential. The fact that some people, such as yourself, always prefer Bordeaux when it is showing its secondary characteristics does not negate the possibility that there are others who enjoy open-knit, primary, Bordeaux enough to forgo waiting X number of years to drink it in its mature state.

The '03 Montrose (and, apparently, the Cos) doesn't taste like mature Bordeaux. It tastes like young Bordeaux, but not closed or tightly wound young Bordeaux. If you don't want to taste excellent young Bordeaux, then don't drink it. But the difference between what the wine tastes like now and what it will taste like in the future is not merely qualitative.

(By the way, the first night I had the '03 Montrose the other wines on the table were Beaucastel, SQN, Martinelli, two Marcassins, Cheval Blanc, Lafite, and Doisy Daene l'Extravagant. I think the average RMP score on the table was a 97 and the Montrose was my WOTN.)

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