SAINT-ESTEPHE, BORDEAUX, FRANCE
Named after it’s 19th Century owner, Louis Gaspard d’Estournel, the chateau is a tourist hot spot in the Medoc because of it’s oriental edifice which dominates the sky line. Louis lived to the age of 91 and after inheriting a few vines, he realised that this area would make outstanding wine, and vinified them seperately. Cos d'Estournel became highly prized, and Louis expanded the estate and made is outstandingly beautiful. However he didn't have the money to do it and a year before his death, he had to sell the estate to a London banker to settle his debts. Allowed to stay on the estate, he died two years before the classification of Bordeaux, which put Cos d'Estournel at the top of the Saint-Estephes.
Cos went through several owners until 1917 when Fernand Ginestet, a top Bordeaux merchant, bought the estate. His family inherited it and then in 2000 it was sold to Michel Reybier who owns it to this day.
Just north of Lafite, on a south facing gravel ridge this is one of the best that St-Estephe has to offer. With 91 hectares of vines, 60% of which is planted with Cabernet Sauvignon (the rest is Merlot), only wines from 20 year old vines go under the top wine. Densely planted, each vine grower is in charge of 45,000 vines and everything is done by hand, including the picking.