St. Estephe is the northernmost of the village appellations in the Medoc. While there are no first growths in St. Estephe, It is home to Cos Estournel which has been referred to as the “sixth second growth”. Chateau Montrose is also considered a “super second”, on par with any of the Premier Crus.
The soils in the region are stony with clay subsoils. The clay subsoil retains moisture so the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon is lower than in neighboring communes. Nonetheless, the wines of St. Estephe tend to be firm in style.
Along with the other well-made wines of the region, even Cos Estournel and Chateau Montrose provide solid value relative to other areas of Bordeaux.
Below is a short list of wines that I offer at my location:
Chateau Cos d’Estournel The ultra-modern winery at Cos is impressive to say the least. No expense has been spared in outfitting the winery with the most modern andcutting-edge technology. Jean-Guillaume Prats, is a skilled winemaker and continues to churn out great wines vintage after vintage. When camparing the quality of Cos d’Estournel to that of the Premier Crus, it is definitely a steal.
2005 While I am not convinced the 2005 Cos d’Estournel will eclipse the compelling 2003 Cos, it is unquestionably another superb classic from proprietor Michel Reybier and his brilliant winemaker, Jean-Guillaume Prats. Made from an unusually high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon (78%) and the balance mostly Merlot with a tiny dollop of Cabernet Franc, this superb effort requires plenty of time in the bottle. It boasts an inky/purple color as well as a glorious perfume of licorice, Asian spices, creme de cassis, blackberries, and toasty oak. This full-bodied St.-Estephe is exceptionally powerful, pure, and dense with a layered mid-palate that builds like a skyscraper. While there are massive tannins, they are remarkably velvety and well-integrated in this big, backstrapping effort that should enjoy an unusually long life. Forget it for 8-10 years, and drink it between 2017-2040. 98 Points!
2004 A beautiful example of the vintage, proprietor Michel Reybier and his top-notch winemaker, Jean-Guillaume Prats, have fashioned an exceptional wine displaying a dense ruby/purple color as well as a sweet perfume of boysenberries, black currants, cherries, pain grille, roasted herbs, and licorice. Medium-bodied with impressive density for the vintage, sweet tannin, and outstanding richness and length, it should be at its finest between 2009 and 2020+. 92 Points The 2004s as a group provide great value. This is no exception. This wine is a bargain.
The consistency and quality of this wine over the last decade is legendary. 1997 was the last time this wine scored under 90 points. Since that time, the wine has delivered vintage after vintage. If you are a fan of Bordeaux and you haven’t included Chateau Montrose on your must try list, you are missing something special.
2006 The first vintage under new owner Martin Bouygues,who convinced Jean-Bernard Delmas to come out of retirement to produce this wine, the 2006 Montrose is an undeniable success. A blend of approximately two-thirds Cabernet Sauvignon, one-third Merlot, and a tiny dollop of Petit Verdot, the most dramatic difference between the 2006, and wines made by the previous administration is that Jean Delmas produces wines with sweeter, silkier tannins, although analytically, they are as high as those found in the great Montrose vintages of the past. The 2006 is extraordinarily elegant and finesse-styled, but it exhibits stunningly concentrated, sweet blackberry and cassis fruit with hints of flowers and minerals. Full-bodied with a savory, expansive mid-palate as well as sweet, noble tannins, this beauty will benefit from 3-4 years of bottle age, and should drink well for 20-25+ years. 94 Points
Chateau de Pez
2008 A big time sleeper of the vintage, this may be the finest De Pez produced in over 40 years. Now in the sure hands of the Roederer-Deutz champagne firm (also the proprietors of Pichon-Lalande and the neighboring St.-Estephe estate of Beausejour), the 2008 is a blend of 50% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Petit Verdot cropped at 38 hectoliters per hectare. A deep ruby/purple color is accompanied by dense creme de cassis, cedarwood, and earth characteristics, a plush, full-bodied texture, superb concentration and purity, and sweet tannins. This is another impressive example from a vintage that the mainstream media began maligning before any grapes were ever harvested 89-91 Points.
Calon Segur While this wine can be very satisfying, its not one for the impatient. Brooding and tannic when young, this is a wine for your cellar.
2005 A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot, the totally closed 2005 Calon Segur is one of those traditionally made, backstrapping, uncompromising Bordeaux that will last 30-40 or more years. Its dense ruby color with purple nuances is followed by a nose that reluctantly offers up scents of damp earth, wood smoke, black cherries, cassis, and an exotic Asian spice character. The wine is formidably endowed and broodingly tannic, with noticeable acidity and a structured, nearly impenetrable mouthfeel. Nevertheless, it is easy to sense the weight, extract, and richness in this pure, deep wine. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2050. 92 Points
Chateau Meyney 2008 Not much of this available. At around $30, I selected this wine for value. It is approachable and drinking very well right now.
Clos du Moulin 2009 A solid wine from a great vintage at $20.