Preparing (and tasting) a 1966 Château Cos d'Estournel

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D.Callahan
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Preparing (and tasting) a 1966 Château Cos d'Estournel

#1 Post by D.Callahan » May 15th, 2019, 12:03 pm

My brother-in-law has a bottle of 1966 Château Cos d'Estournel he got from his father. He kindly offered to share it with my family and I if I would open and prepare it to drink. I am going to uncork it (using my Durand) a few hours before the the start of the tasting and then when they arrive double decant it to remove the sediment. The question I have is, if should I let it sit in the decanter for some time before pouring back into the bottle or just wash out the bottle and refill immediately? Some opinions from the knowledge base here on our forum would be helpful.

Thanks in advance!

Dennis
Last edited by D.Callahan on May 16th, 2019, 2:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Preparing a 1966 Château Cos d'Estournel

#2 Post by Jason T » May 15th, 2019, 4:05 pm

Dennis, why the requirement to double decant?
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Re: Preparing a 1966 Château Cos d'Estournel

#3 Post by D.Callahan » May 15th, 2019, 4:28 pm

There will undoubtedly be a fair amount of sediment in the bottle and serving from the bottle allows a bit more exposure to air without extended wide surface exposure and allows people the opportunity to look at the bottle. I don't want to leave the wine in the decanter as it might be somewhat fragile..
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Re: Preparing a 1966 Château Cos d'Estournel

#4 Post by D.Callahan » May 15th, 2019, 4:58 pm

After some input from Mark Squires I decided to just decant and pour immediately.. If it needs more air we can let it breathe a bit in the glass.
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Re: Preparing a 1966 Château Cos d'Estournel

#5 Post by Howard Cooper » May 15th, 2019, 5:09 pm

Agreed. I would not open a wine that old several hours in advance.
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Re: Preparing a 1966 Château Cos d'Estournel

#6 Post by John Gilman » May 15th, 2019, 5:59 pm

Hi Dennis,

The 1966 Cos is a lovely wine at its apogee and the last bottle I drank, two or three years ago, was not fragile at all. It is complex, spicy, nicely red fruity and really quite soil-driven for Cos and I think that you will enjoy it immensely. If you want to double decant it to allow folks to enjoy seeing the bottle when you serve it, then do so about twenty minutes before service. The wine should hold up just fine and you will wish it was a magnum by the time you get to the bottom! It is one of my favorite vintages of Cos- enjoy!

All the Best,

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Re: Preparing a 1966 Château Cos d'Estournel

#7 Post by Eric Egan » May 16th, 2019, 6:55 am

I'd personally just open it (slowly, allowing the pressure to gradually release) at lunch time and leave it undisturbed until dinner, then decant it gently about 15 minutes before serving. I'd actually be careful double decanting as pouring the wine back into the bottle will give it a lot more oxygen contact than leaving it in the decanter for a while.
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Re: Preparing a 1966 Château Cos d'Estournel

#8 Post by Todd Hamina » May 16th, 2019, 8:21 am

What Eric just said....
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Re: Preparing a 1966 Château Cos d'Estournel

#9 Post by Thomas Keim » May 16th, 2019, 10:23 am

D.Callahan wrote:
May 15th, 2019, 4:58 pm
After some input from Mark Squires I decided to just decant and pour immediately.. If it needs more air we can let it breathe a bit in the glass.
This was not a big wine to begin with - I've always felt that Cos d'Estournel was on a downward trend in the 60s (the 70 was a downright disappointment). So I would decant and pour immediately as well. Just be sure to put a glass aside, because wines like this many times can take on a life of it's own and blossom for hours after. I had a '66 Beau Site recently that was tired and flabby right after opening, but hours later it fattened up and damned if some primary fruit didn't start jumping out of the glass (right after I pronounced it fading).
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Re: Preparing a 1966 Château Cos d'Estournel

#10 Post by Gerhard P. » May 16th, 2019, 10:26 am

I´ll tell what I would do (but I´m afraid few people will listen and follow):

I would stand the bottle upright for several days, better a week+
Open it carefully several hours in advance (4-5 hours),
decant it softly (without great splash ...) into a decanter only 10-15 min. before serving, but do NOT refill it into the bottle.
When the wine is fragile, double decanting might do it harm ...
double decanting is neither necessary nor for the benefit ...
a decanter with the original bottle besides it is fine ...

Enjoy over the next 1-2 hours ...
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Re: Preparing (and tasting) a 1966 Château Cos d'Estournel

#11 Post by D.Callahan » May 16th, 2019, 4:02 pm

A rather lengthy post was just lost into the void and I don't have time to re-enter it so I'll try again later ...sorry. Here are a couple of pics.


IMG_0319.jpg
IMG_0316.jpg
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