Château Cos d'Estournel 1996 is a deep ruby color with a complex nose of black fruits, leather, and cedar, with hints of spices and minerals. The palate is full-bodied, with well-structured tannins, and a long, persistent finish. The wine has a good balance between fruit and oak, with a great potential for aging. It is a classic Saint-Estèphe wine, offering power and elegance, and it can be paired with red meat, game, and strong cheeses.
Robert Parker - 94 Points
"Tasted at the château, the 1996 Cos d'Estournel was aged in 65% new oak (unlike the 1995 which was 100%) and is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot. It has a straight down the line, intense and focused, graphite and melted tar bouquet. It is almost Pauillac in style, no surprise given its proximity. The palate is medium-bodied with fresh acidity, finer tannin than the 1986 Cos d'Estournel tasted alongside, but sharing those same leitmotifs of black pepper and sea salt. I like the nonchalance of this Cos d'Estournel. At 20 years it is not an ostentatious wine, not determined to go out and impress, but its nuance, stylishness and classicism grow on you. Its virtues seem to register only after you swallow the wine and find yourself tempted back for more. Excellent. Tasted July 2016."
Antonio Galloni - 93 Points
"The 1996 Cos d’Estournel has a fragrant, Pauillac-tinged bouquet with the melted tar and graphite leitmotifs that I remarked upon in previous encounters. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy-textured tannin. I feel that the 1996 shows a tad more maturity than a few months ago, with undergrowth and peat-like notes surfacing with aeration and then a dash of white pepper streaking across the finish. However, it evinces fine persistency and embraces the classic tropes of the 1996 vintages. Though not a top tier Cos d’Estournel, it remains an excellent Saint-Estèphe. Tasted at the Cos d’Estournel vertical at the property."