Pagodes de Cos by Château Cos d'Estournel | 2013
First made in 1994, Pagodes de Cos has quietly become one of the finest second labels not just in Bordeaux, but in the world. Because of its proximity to the Atlantic, the fruit which goes into Pagodes matures later than other classified estates, resulting in powerful aromatics and an impressive range on the palate. While 2013 was far from the "vintage of the century," it's a testament to the great estates of Bordeaux who use technology, patience, and expertise to make inspiring wines. In these challenging vintages, the greats, like Cos d'Estournel, defy the odds and rise to the top. In the glass, Pagodes greets the nose with fresh red berries, graphite, and cedar. On the palate, the wine is delicate over unctuous (courtesy of a cool vintage) with light-weight tannins. It embodies the old-school style of Bordeaux "Claret," which I yearn for with simple bistro food like steak-frites, an indulgent terrine, or an endless pot of mussels. Perfectly imperfect, I wouldn't change a thing about it!