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If Aladdin Owned a Vineyard, Cos d'Estournel Would Be It

Saturday, February 08, 2014

The perks of dating a French wine merchant: wine tastings on any given day. Yesterday we went to Cos D'Estournel, the Taj Mahal of vino. I've seen this château before and wasn't really impressed by it, in fact it didn't attract me whatsoever, but until yesterday when I saw the interior...sweet baby Jesus of wine, it blew my mind. It was 100% worth playing hooky over.

I'll give you the quick story: Louis-Gaspard D'Estournel buys the perfect land in St. Estèphe in 1790, ends up selling great wine all over the world to some of the most wealthiest rulers, builds a château inspired by India, and dies before any of it was really recognized. Ouch..
Just two years after this man died in 1855 this wine was given the classification second cru classé of Medoc. Basically it's one of the high rollers of wine. It's now owned by the Michel Reybier, whom I'd be just fine being an heir to.
The exterior and interior architecture was designed by Jacques Garcia. He created several 5-star hotels in Paris, so you know it is good.. I mean REALLY good. Everything has a history here, each structure has a meaning, and you can see why the original owner was entirely in debt.
The doors are actually some of the most impressive things here. This is from Zanzibar Africa from the 17th century. What it has to do with India I'm not sure but it sure is beautiful.
This was actually the first room that you will see when you enter the château, so you know it will be impressive afterwards. It's so different from all of the châteaux I've been to before, it's more or less the vineyard of the future.

When the tour guide opened the doors to the wine I was actually shocked. An illuminated bridge over a sea of wine barrels..it is kind of like the pathway to heaven. Architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte designed this room, as well as all of the technical areas for wine-making. It costs 35 million euros if you ever feel like having one in your home.
Those doors at the end of the path opened to the cave...I felt the angels saying AHHHHHHH HALLELUJAH. There was a bottle from 1865 in here as well as several other old vintages.
We were able to taste a bottle from 2009 and a bottle from 2008. The wine here is about 75% cabernet and 25% merlot, with a very small percentage of other grape variety. For my American friends, it would basically be considered cabernet sauvignon. 
I thought the 2009 bottle was better, but Mathieu preferred this one.
Although completely unprofessional for him to swallow the wine, it's entirely acceptable for me. Notice how happy I am :) After two glasses you will definitely feel it.
Don't forget to explore outside a bit. There are elephants EVERYWHERE. It's actually the symbol for the company. This one is in the process of growing, along with his 10 other elephant friends nearby. 
I still don't know what the tower is for outside, however it's picturesque nonetheless. The Indian-inspired design here is so intricate and beautiful. If Aladdin owned a vineyard I'm telling you this would be it.

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