Château Cos d'Estournel is an amazing château and sits on a ridge immediately North of the Pauillac border and Château Lafite, separated by the stream known as La Jalle du Breuil (The Breuil Brook). The hill of Cos dominates the Gironde from the height of almost 65 feet. The Château takes its name from “cos” which translates as a “hill of pebbles “ in Gascon dialect and d'Estournel from its owner Louis-Gaspard d'Estournel, who was born in the reign of Louis XV and died under Napoleon III. Cos d 'Estournel is acknowledged to be the most outstanding cru of St Estephe.
Cos's first harvests were sold in India where these wines graced the sumptuous tables of Maharajahs and Nabobs. Louis became known as “the Maharajah of Saint-Estèphe” as a symbol of his pioneering exports of his wines to the Far East and the château and vineyards were bedecked with exotic pagodas. The famous Pagodas which surmount Cos's cellars and their door, sent from the palace of Zanzibar and symbolize this pioneering break out into the world trade.
Cos d'Estournel was favoured by Jules Verne, Karl Marx, Queen Victoria, the Tsar of Russia and the Emperor Napoleon III loved this wine so much that he had several thousands bottles sent to the Palace of the Tuileries. In a letter to Friedrich Engels dated 1857 Karl Marx wrote:
I have had a case of wine sent to Manchester. It will do your wife good. There are6 bottles of Bordeaux,3 of Port and3 of Sherry…The Bordeaux bears the label of COS D’ESTOURNEL,I have just had it delivered.
There is a Museum at the Château which is dedicated to the history of Cos and is well worth a visit and also a shop as well as tours and wine tastings.