Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Tour and Tasting at Château Cos d’Estournel, Appellation Saint-Estèphe, 2ième Grand Cru Classé, with Managing Director Aymeric de Gironde - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
This châteaux boasts of one of most impressive architecture in all of Médoc. In 1791 Louis Gaspard d’Estournel inherited holdings in Saint-Estèphe upon the death of his father. Over the years he added more land to his holdings, and bought several vineyards in the commune of Saint-Estèphe. The potential of Saint-Estèphe in those days was not fully recognized compared with the appellations further south (Pauillac, Saint-Julien, etc.), which were already fully exploited. Louis Gaspard was enthusiastic about his wines but there was no reputation for this appellation at this time. He ran into financial difficulties and the estate was acquired by a debt collector in 1811. He remained on board as manager and was able to buy it back in 1821. In the meantime recognition for Saint-Estèphe wines was on the rise and in the decades that followed Louis Gaspard was able to buy the best plots off neighboring estates. Settled in, and seemingly financially secure, Louis Gaspard d'Estournel started to built new cellars and a “châteaux”. His taste reflected his many travels to the Orient, and he constructed tall pagodas, and an imposing arch decorated with lions and unicorns. The doorway was sent over from the Palace of Zanzibar. In 1852 – one year before his death- he had to sell again and the châteaux changed hands many times since then. Current owner is industrialist Michel Reybier, who acquired Cos d’Estournel in 2000.
Managing Director Aymeric de Gironde joined us towards the end of the tour.
Château Cos d`Estournel
Château Cos d`Estournel in the Saint-Estèphe appellation is named after its 19th century owner, Louis-Gaspard d'Estournel, and it was he who built the bizarre oriental edifice that is a landmark for any tourist in the Médoc. The name Cos refers to a "hill of pebbles" in Gascon dialect.
From a 100 hectare estate, the vineyard area extends 70 hectares, divided into 30 parcels, and primarily composed of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot, with minor cultivation of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The annual production is typically 32,000 cases. Cos wines tend to have a higher blend of Merlot than other classified Left Bank wines.
Château Cos d'Estournel was classified as one of fifteen Deuxièmes Crus in the Classification of 1855.
Château Cos d'Estournel produces the eponymous grand vin, the second wine since the 1994 vintage, Les Pagodes de Cos from the estate's younger vines, as well as Château Marbuzet from fruit of nearby plots.
Louis Gaspard d’Estournel
Born in 1762 during the reign of Louis XV and died in1853 under Napoleon III, at the remarkable age of 91, Louis Gaspard d’Estournel had one sole passion: Cos.
Having inherited a few vines near the village of Cos, he recognized, in 1811, the quality of their wine and decided to vinify them separately.
Very rapidly, Cos d’Estournel’s wine exceeded the prices of the most prestigious wines and was exported as far as India.
Louis became known as ‘the Maharajah of Saint-Estèphe’. To celebrate his distant conquests, he had exotic pagodas erected over his cellar, organized spectacular festivities at Cos and presented the great people of this world with some precious bottles of Cos “Returned from India”.
The estate has changed hands several times during its history. In 1852, overwhelmed with debts he had accumulated in order to extend and beautify his estate, Louis Gaspard d’Estournel was obliged to sell Cos to the London banker Charles Cecil Martyns. In 1869, it was sold to the Spanish Errazu family only to be sold again 20 years later in 1889 to the Bordeaux-based Hostein family. Through his marriage to Marie-Thérèse Hostein, Louis-Victor Charmolue, who also owned Château Montrose, gained control of Cos d'Estournel in 1894. In 1917, it was sold to Fernand Ginestet and remained in the Ginestet family, becoming in 1970 part of Domaines Prats, the combined holdings of the Ginestet and Prats families, and controlled by Bruno Prats.
Since 2000, Château Cos d’Estournel belongs to Michel Reybier.
The trashier echelons of the French press used to refer to Michel Reybier as l’ancien roi du saucisson — “the old sausage king”, as he is the very private, Swiss-domiciled founder of the French conglomerate Groupe Aoste, purveyor of Cochonou processed ham, Justin Bridou mini-salamis and César Moroni chorizo. The group was sold to Sara Lee in 1996 and Michael Reybier has since diversified into healthcare, biotech, oil, wine and hotels: … Cochonou, Aoste, Justin Bridou... Jusqu'en 1996, Michel Reybier était le patron de ces marques bien connues. Depuis, sa trace n'est pas toujours aisée à suivre. Ses propriétés les plus connues sont un grand vignoble, le Cos d'Estournel, dont le cru 95 se vend à 150 euros la bouteille, et de prestigieux hôtels (La Réserve à Genève). Mais on le retrouve également à la tête du conseil d'administration de Pebercan, une société cotée au Canada mais dont l'unique client est la République de Cuba, dont elle exploite les ressources pétrolières.
Michel Reybier a également un temps été actionnaire majoritaire d'Occade Sport, une société de marketing et d'événementiel sportif, et gravite dans les milieux sportifs lyonnais, grâce à Reybier & Partners Investment. Via une société de droit luxembourgeois, la Company Morasto Jalop, il est aussi administrateur d'entreprises françaises, comme la Saint Tropez Airport Services.
Aymeric de Gironde
Born in 1972, coming from a family of growers and cognac distillers for seven generation, Aymeric de Gironde was educated in Bordeaux in the International Program of the Bordeaux Business School. In 1996, it was quite naturally that Aymeric de Gironde took off to the United States to be responsible for the promotion of the House of Cognac Hennessy. After spending 1 year going across the country, Aymeric decided to stay in New York for the wine and spirits importer Schieffelin & Somerset (joint venture between LVMH and Diageo) as responsible for the distribution for New York.
In 2001, following his experience in the US, Aymeric comes back to France with the responsibility of developing, at the European level, a new brand from Hennessy. Then in 2003, still within the LVMH Group, Aymeric joined the Champagne House Krug as International Business Development Director, focusing mainly on the European and American markets. In 2006, Aymeric de Gironde joined the AXA Group as International Sales Director for all AXA Millésimes vineyards, among which the prestigious Château Pichon Longueville Baron in Pauillac, Château Suduiraut in Sauternes or Quinta do Noval in Portugal.
Aymeric de Gironde is now CEO of Domaines Reybier that includes in Saint-Estèphe Château Cos d’Estournel, Château Marbuzet, but also the Imperial Estate of Tokaj Hétszölö and the new high end brand, Goulée in Médoc.
Massive Château Cos d’Estournel Vertical with Aymeric de Gironde, Managing Director of Cos d’Estournel, and Panos Kakaviatos at Restaurant Ripple in Washington DC
2011 Les Pagodes de Cos d‘Estournel (wine-searcher average price in US$: 50)
2008 Château Cos d'Estournel (wine-searcher average price in US$: 128)
At 85%, the 2008 has a high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon, with 13% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc. Aymeric de Gironde: “In cold years, such as 2008, 2006 and 2004, the wines are shy. They don’t want to show themselves right away.” Restrained nose with some hints of cassis, warm spices and flowers. On the palate, excellent concentration with dense tannins. Creamy finish. Still a baby I would love to re-taste the wine in 10 years.
Postings on the Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France (Posted and Forthcoming):
Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France
Bordeaux Wine Tour 2013 by ombiasy
Bordeaux Wines and their Classifications: The Basics
Bordeaux - En Primeur, Negociants, Courtiers, the Quai de Chartons and the Place de Bordeaux – A Short Introduction
How Does the Negociant System in Bordeaux Work? Tour and Tasting at Millésima - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Dining and Wining on Boulevard Montparnasse in Paris: La Rotonde, Le Dôme and La Coupole, France – Pre-Bordeaux Wine Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours, France
Tour and Tasting from Barrel at Domaine de Chevalier, Graves, Appellation Pessac-Léognan, Grand Cru Classé, with Owner Adrien Bernard - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Dinner with a View: At Restaurant L’Estacade in Bordeaux City - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in Bordeaux City - An Update
Schiller’s Favorite Seafood Places in Bordeaux City, France - An Update
Saint Emilion Wines and their Classification, Bordeaux, France
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in St. Emilion, France
The Wine Empire of the von Neipperg Family in France, Bulgaria and Germany
Tour and Tasting at Château Canon La Gaffelière, Appellation Saint-Emilion, Premier Grand Cru Classé – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Tour and Wine Pairing Lunch at Château Beauséjour, Appellation Puisseguin Saint-Emilion, with Owner/ Winemaker Gérard Dupuis - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Tour and Tasting at Château Figeac, Premier Grand Cru Classé B, in Saint-Émilion – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Tour and Tasting at Château Beauregard, Appellation Pomerol – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Tour with Dany Rolland: Château Le Bon Pasteur in Pomerol – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Wine-pairing Lunch at Château Le Bon Pasteur, Pomerol, with Dany Rolland – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Tasting were it all Started: At the "Garage" of Jean-Luc Thunevin, Owner and Winermaker of Château Valandraud, Premier Grand Cru Classé since 2012 - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Charcuterie and Fromage at Chez Pascal in Saint Emilion - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Tour and Tasting at Château de Fargues, Sauternes, with Prince Eudes d’Orléans - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Wine-pairing Lunch at the 1-star Michelin Restaurant Claude Darroze, with Marie-Hélène Lévêque, Owner of Châteaux Chantegrive - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Visit: Château de Chantegrive, Appellation Grave, with Owner Marie-Hélène Lévêque - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Visit and Tasting: Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte, Pessac-Léognan, Grand Cru Classé – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France
Lunch at the Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte Restaurant La Grand’ Vigne (Chef: Nicolas Masse, 2 Stars Michelin) - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Visit of La Cité du Vin - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Lunch at Pinasse Café, Cap Ferret - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Visiting an Oyster Farm at Arcachon Bay, Bordeaux: Raphael Doerfler at Earl Ostrea Chanca - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
The 5 Premiers Grands Crus Chateaux en 1855 of Bordeaux, France
What is a Bordeaux Cru Bourgeois? France
Tour and Tasting at Château Palmer, Margaux, 3ième Grand Cru Classé - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Tour and Tasting at Château Pichon-Longueville Baron in Pauillac - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Lunch at Château Pichon-Longueville-Baron with Chef à Domicile Bernadet Damien - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Tour and Tasting at Château Lafon-Rochet with Owner Michel Tesseron – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
At the Invitation of Owner Michel Tesseron: Private Dinner at Château Lafon-Rochet, Saint-Estèphe, 4ième Grand Cru Classé – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Tour and Tasting at Château Sociando Mallet, Appellation Haut-Médoc – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
How a Barrel is Made: Visit of the Cooperage Berger & Fils in Vertheuil – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Lunch were the Locals Eat: At Restaurant Le Peyrat in Saint-Estèphe – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Tour and Tasting at Château Léoville Poyferré, Saint-Julien, 2ième Grand Cru Classé, with Anne Cuvelier
Tour and Tasting at Château Margaux, Appellation Margaux, 1ière Grand Cru Classé
Tour and Tasting at Château Kirwan, Appellation Margaux, 3ième Grand Cru Classé, with Owner Nathalie Schyler
Picnic Lunch at Château Kirwan, Appellation Margaux, 3ième Grand Cru Classé, with Owner Nathalie Schyler
Tour and Wine Dinner at Château Haut-Bailly, Graves, Appellation Pessac-Léognan, Grand Cru Classé, with Daina Paulin