I haven’t touched by cases of 2005 Pichon Baron and Pontet Canet, but would be curious to see what the LLC is like. I had a 2006 Montrose in a blind tasting vs a 2001 Montelena last week, and while I immediately identified the Montrose as the Bordeaux*, I also didn’t want to drink it. It’s massive and showing some oak that, while I’m sure will round out with time - that time hasn’t arrived.
*At the same tasting I whiffed on Rhys vs. a Caroline Morey Chassagne, so this was a sad saving grace.
Out of interest, when do people think Cos “lost its way”? I think the youngest I’ve had were 2002 and 2003 - the former surprisingly good, and the latter also given I expected it to be pruney and awful from the vintage.
I suppose it depends on what you mean by “lost its way.” In the sense that Howard meant it, around the mid 90’s, according to Neal Martin’s article on Cos. In another sense, again from NM’s article, after 1961. Interestingly, or ironically, the mid-90’s way is undoubtedly a reaction to the problems of the post-61 way, a business decision to not be so dependent on the whims of nature to deliver a fine vintage.
If you liked the 2002 and 2003, it sounds like you could follow Parker’s scores and be content (he rated both among the best wines of the vintage). The possible exception is 2009, where nature and wine-making combined exponentially to produce an extreme wine. Parker could be right, that in 25-50 years it will yield a superb wine, or it could be a mess forever and always, as many others think. I will find out in 15-25 years or so, when I open the bottles I purchased as part of a mixed lot at auction.
On 2003, St. Estephe managed to produce some good wines despite the vintage, Cos and Montrose foremost among them.
To keep on thread, the 2005 Cos has been highly praised from different points on the critical spectrum.
Ever since Aymeric de Gironde had arrived on the scene, for the super difficult vintage of 2013, Cos became more classical, and even sometimes understated (for “modern” palates). He set the tone for the change, maintained since he left to make a similar fine alteration for Troplong Mondot .
Of all the super seconds, my last favorite is Cos. I never find it be particularly distinctive, and when Jean Guillaume was screwing around with it, there was never enough terroir there to make it interesting. The 2003 was pretty nasty, but it the 2009 was seriously problematic, causing John Gilman to call it a train wreck. I wouldn’t go quite that far, maybe a couple of Mercedes scraping each other in a parking lot. I retasted it last year, and it was every bit as anonymous and overly friendly as it was in barrel. Hard to say it was a Bordeaux, let alone from Saint Estephe. Interestingly the 2010 was a much better wine, a low 90 point effort.
It is only fair to mention that I never buy Cos, so my impressions are based on a small sample; when tasted in barrel, one vertical I attended, and when someone else brings a bottle.
Interesting Mark - my sampling of Cos has been pretty small too, but IIRC I picked out the 2002 and 2003 blind - i.e. they reminded me enough of Cos for me to guess that in a line up. Of course, it could be that I associated anonymity with Cos from previous tasting . Last time I had it was a glass of the 2003 in a NYC restaurant - very good, and much less “2003” character than I would have thought, without being “great” in any way. Given I actively dislike many other wines from 2003, I think of the Cos as a relative success.
Aha, a winery without soul. More like a luxury fashion product. One day the long skirt is in. For centuries. The house gets accolades on the big 1855 dance floor. Then the short short skirt is in. Paparazzi loves it. Then Jacki Kennedy reputedly is back in style, so the skirt goes long again, but above the knee for style points. And another Paparazzi set loves it. Hard to keep track. I’ll stick with the classic, predictable estates. Classic never goes out of style. Cos is not that.
Data point: I got 4 bottles of the 2002 Cos quite cheaply in 2016 (for $32, long story why so cheap). Tried one shortly thereafter and found it more like a licorice-infused Cali Cab than a St Estephe. Even at $32, I decided to sell the remaining 3 bottles.
Getting back to the original post, Panos, LLC is one of my very favorite Bordeaux estates and has been as long as I can remember. Of the various producers that you have brought to DC, my favorite tasting was the LLC tasting (I was away on vacation and missed the Palmer tasting). If this wine is close to wonderful vintages like 1975, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1989, 1990, and 1996, you will have a real treat on your hands. And, if you don’t know what to do with the wine, you can always bring it to one of our January tastings!!!
In any case, you have now paid for the wine, so just enjoy it and don’t worry anymore about what it is worth.
Cos was always my favorite Bordeaux because of its distinctive character and spice notes, not to mention affordability. I barrel tasted the 2000 in June 2001 at the Chateau and lined it quite a bit. However, they were quite upset and ashamed (their words) of their relatively low rating from Bob Parker compared to that of their neighboring properties. They strongly implied they were going to change things up. There wasn’t time to do much for the 2001, and I think the 2002 may be a transition wine. Starting in 2003 things clearly changed