Cos d'Estournel Investment
By Steffan White & Louis Jones

Cos d'Estournel Investment

  • Standout Score – Cos d’Estournel 2017 is the 2nd highest scoring wine of the 2017 Bordeaux vintage from the influential Wine Advocate, surpassing all First Growths.
  • In fact, Cos d’Estournel 2017 is the joint fourth highest scoring Cos of all time (Wine Advocate) with 98+ points. Bettered only by the 2009, 2010 and 2016 vintages.
  • Wine Advocate critic Lisa Perrotti-Brown said of the 2017:  “I expect this wine to be a blockbuster of a head turner”. 
  • Top ‘super second’ Cos d’Estournel stands at the apex of the ‘Super Second’ (Second Growth) category from the 1855 classification, frequently challenging and regularly surpassing the First Growths of the Médoc.
  • Diverse Vintage – Cos’s favourable terroir in the north of the region, and its proximity to the Gironde River, meant its crop was unaffected by the 2017 frosts.
  • Undervalued – The 2017 is offered at a substantial discount to comparatively scored vintages.  Cos 2017 outscores near neighbour Lafite Rothschild. 
  • Potential for Re-pricing – Further Retrospective tastings like Lisa Perrotti-Brown’s are likely to serve as a future price catalyst.

Cos d’Estournel 2017 – Best Value Vintage

The 2017 vintage leaps off the chart as the standout value pick amongst the modern vintages from this top ‘Super Second’ estate. Priced at only GBP 575 (SGD 940, HKD 5,570) per (6x75cl), this vintage sits comfortably below the fair value curve. The implied fair value of a 98+ score is nearer GBP 810 (SGD 1,320, HKD 7,845) per (6x75cl), which is over 40% higher than its current price.

Cos d'Estournel Best Value Vintage

2017 Vintage: Varying Quality = Opportunities for Shrewd Investors

The market is yet to wake up to the potential of the 2017 Bordeaux vintage.  Collectors and investors initially discounted the vintage due to the frosts that ravaged the majority of crops and devastated yields. We believe the vintage-wide dismissal has been hasty and lazy.  As we outlined late last year with our note on Lafleur 2017, there are some excellent opportunities for eagle eyed individuals who do their homework. 

2017 Vintage is Re-appraised by Experts

Lisa Perrotti-Brown of The Wine Independent (formerly of Wine Advocate) released her retrospective Bordeaux 2017 report at the close of 2022.  Out of the many retrospective tastings she conducted in 2022, 2017 was the biggest surprise: “2017 is a vintage where extraordinary wines possessing great depth and super ripe, super-fine tannins can be found … This is a face of Bordeaux that we have not seen in many years.”

Further such re-appraisals would continue to turn the previous vintage opinion of Bordeaux 2017 and could well act as price catalysts for its top performers like Cos d’Estournel 2017 and Lafleur 2017.  

Cos d’Estournel 2017 is a top wine available at a considerable discount to comparative vintages. For instance, the 2018 vintage currently trades at GBP 740, a premium of 29%, for an identical Wine Advocate score.  Is such a discount really warranted?  We don’t think so.

Cos d'Estournel Comparison

Cos d’Estournel: Impressive Price Momentum

Cos d’Estournel have been increasing their release price for their flagship wine over the past decade, increasing it nearly 50% in that time.  As an estate that frequently challenges First Growths for quality, it will not be surprising to see this pricing trend continue over the next decade:

Cos d'Estournel Release Prices

En Primeur release price inflation has an obvious positive effect on high-scoring and well-priced back vintages. 

In fact, it would not be a surprise to see the château itself join others in buying back cases to further reposition the brand.  This activity, which is growing in importance on La Place, acts like a corporate share buy-back.  In July 2021 Château Lafite Rothschild conducted just such an operation, driving a 20% jump in the price of Lafite Rothschild 2017 within weeks:

Lafite Rothschild Buyback

Cos d’Estournel:  A Genuine First Growth Alternative

Cos d’Estournel is now regarded at the forefront of the ‘Super Second’ tier of wines.  As such, it is frequently mentioned as a First Growth alternative.

The comparison with Lafite Rothschild is very favourable.  In the 2017 vintage, Cos not only outscores its close neighbour (see below), but it also shows the largest price spread between the two châteaux:

Lafite Rothschild Comparison

Proximity to Château Lafite Rothschild Boosts Appeal

Cos d’Estournel is comparable to a First Growth not only in quality, but also geography.  Its proximity to First Growth royalty, Château Lafite Rothschild, often surprises people.  Although the two estates are in different appellations (Cos d’Estournel in Saint-Estèphe and Lafite Rothschild in Pauillac), in reality they are only 1KM apart. 

Proximity to Lafite Rothschild

Cos d'Estournel 2017

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