Be Cos, be Cos, be Cos



Last week Jean-Guillaume Prats of Ch. Cos d’Estournel paid us a flying visit to host a private dinner at the fantastic new restaurant in Wan Chai, Amuse Bouche . I was pretty excited for most of the day, as I am rather partial to a bottle or two of Cos. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it is one of my favourite wines from Bordeaux. And to add to the excitement, Jean-Guillaume was bringing with him cask samples of the much-hyped 2009 vintage… To say that there was an air of anticipation in the office would be something of an understatement! Not to mention the small matter of the main wines at dinner… the ultra-rare 2006 Blanc as well as the 2002, 2000, 1995 and 1985 vintages of the Grand Vin.

Trying a cask sample is a risky thing to do as the wine is still very much in its infancy, with the grapes only being picked from the vine a handful of months ago. From the start Jean-Guillaume stressed the importance of not seeing this as the finished article, but instead to taste the potential of this extremely young wine. It was a fascinating exercise for our customers and I am sure that what stuck out most of all was the obvious quality of fruit and potential that was found in the glass. I am looking forward to tasting many more 2009s in a few months’ time when I visit Bordeaux (though I’m not sure if my teeth and gums are going to thank me!)

After this intriguing insight it was time to kick back, relax and taste Cos through the ages. The 2002, a Bordeaux vintage that largely managed to slip under the radar, was showing superbly with lovely aromatics. Then the 2000; a wine that is still young, but like a two year-old thoroughbred race horse seems to be putting on some muscle and loosing the puppy fat, allowing us just a glimpse of the layers of fruit on offer. This wine really has great potential. The 1995 had a large amount of Merlot in it and consequently offers a more luscious, exotic and hedonistic edge. I have always loved this vintage and yet again it proved to be exceptional. The 1985 was a beautiful example of a mature delicate Cos, with that lovely juxtaposition of seduction and grace.

All in all a great evening was thoroughly enjoyed by all.  Jean-Guillaume, as ever, was a superb host, providing considerable detail on all the vintages being drunk and I would also like to make particular mention of Kent Wong (a man who loves and knows his wines) and his staff at Amuse Bouche. Kent and his team offered great service, which combined with a fantastic venue and a stunning view made for a cracker of an event. Oh, and the food is tip top as well! Not that I am Hong Kong restaurant expert (yet!) but I will certainly be going back. At the end of the dinner there was much deliberation as to the wines of the night, but what everyone agreed on was the vision and direction that Cos d’Estournel seems to be going in with Jean-Guillaume at the helm. Personally I believe that the best wines to come from this Chateau have been made over the last decade and given how tasty and impeccable older vintages are now, boy oh boy am looking forward to tasting more recent vintages in years to come.

I had such a good time that I failed to make Boot Camp in the morning, much to my colleagues’ dismay. So another tough hike beckoned on Saturday, although this time I had the treat of some Yum Cha in Mong Kok afterwards… not that I had any idea what I was ordering!