It came from a half bottle. I really disliked this wine en Primeur, but I owed it to myself to taste it again, but I wasn’t going to spring for full bottles, and the halves were cheap enough. This is the second time I have had it from half bottle, and I have to say I am glad I only have one left.
This is an exercise in masochism. It was extracted, it was enormous, it was heavy and it completely lacked the following: character, complexity, freshness, evolution or any indication of where it was from. I have tasted tomatoes grown hydroponically with as much interest. I do recognized there will be some who love it, and it has been given 100 points several times by known critics. For me, I just could not finish my glass, and had to open another bottle.
I was thinking of you when I mentioned the 100 point scores from some critics. I decided not to score this, because for me a wine that I don’t want to finish my first glass let alone pour a second, must by definition score less than eighty points.
And to judge a wine by its alcohol level seems crazy to me. Wine by the numbers is not how I look at wine. Tasting wine by numbers is the equivalent of painting by numbers.
If I used numbers as you suggest, I’d need to forego Cheval Blanc, Haut Brion, La Mission, Petrus and loads of other wines. And while many Cab dominated Left Bank wines are not 14.5, scores of the best Left Bank wines wines today approach 14 in sunny years.
My note on 2009 COS is quite clear. You can read it on my site. That’s how I see the wine. Mark does not agree. So what?
That’s why they offer more than 1 flavor at the ice cream store.
Note to Lee B… Today, and for yeas, there is no such thing as bottle variation, excluding poor storage. It’s palate variation. I love the wine. I’ve been hot on since tasting it in 2010. I taste it almost yearly and see the progress. It’s going to be one of the great wines of the vintage in the years to come.
As you point out, it is a matter of taste, and we have long disagreed on several if not most wines. This wine perhaps, the one we disagree about most.
I think the 14.5% question is interesting. In the eleven years of its cellaring, the wine has shown no sign of aging. It remains primary and monolithic, exactly what I have expected, given my initial primeur note. My guess is that the wine (which I suspect is higher than 14.5%) is never going to be any more interesting, just a softer blob.
I am racking my brains trying to think of a dry very high alcohol wine that I have seen develop over time. Perhaps one or two Quintarellis, but not much else. So while I agree with Jeff that wines should be viewed holistically, I cannot see that high alcohol does anything except arrest and even obliterate the ability to age into a wine of complexity. In the case of the Cos, the parts were never there.
My palate is closer to yours than Jeffs I think, and I also think high alcohol is a sign of a flawed wine, but as regards 14.5% alcohol, let me just point out – 2010 Vieux Chateau Certan, 14.5% alcohol, 2015 Vieux Chateau Certan, 14.6% alcohol. Is it your belief that high alcohol will obliterate the complexity and aging ability of these wines?