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The origins of the Courbis family estate date back to the 16th century. More recently, the brothers Dominique and Laurent Courbis succeeded their father, Maurice, in the early 1990s. They have since firmly established themselves as leaders of the modern school of winemaking in St Joseph and Cornas. The Courbis style may be summarized as offering wines filled with intense aromas and concentrated fruit with great purity and length. This is in large part achieved by a combination of meticulous and sustainable vineyard work undertaken to attain perfectly ripe, healthy, concentrated grapes together with fermenting in tanks and aging in barriques. The wines emphasize the expression of fruit while highlighting the specific character of the various St-Joseph and Cornas vineyard origins.
The estate owns 33 hectares divided as follows: 8 hectares in Cornas; 5 hectares of St Joseph Blanc; 19 hectares of St Joseph Rouge and 1 hectare of Syrah Vin de Pays de l’Ardèche. The vineyards are all on south and east facing slopes in the communes of Châteaubourg, Glun and Cornas. All the grapes are harvested by hand, rigorously sorted and 100% de-stemmed. The maceration period for the Syrahs lasts between two and four weeks. The wines mature in barriques which are new or up to three years old. They are bottled between 18 months and two years after harvest.|
The Courbis brothers produce some of the most compelling examples of St. Joseph and Cornas being made today. They have successfully combined their long family experience with a modern style, and their achievement has earned them international recognition. The wines are vegan.
|Domaine Courbis Website|
|Syrah - Vin de Pays de l'Ardeche|
|The fruit for this cuvée mostly comes from young St-Joseph vines. Fermented and aged in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks and bottled after 9 to 10 months. The Syrah has an intense, dark color with bright, crunchy dark berry and cassis fruit. |
|97% Marsanne, 3% Roussane|
The St-Joseph Blanc derives from vines planted on a unique limestone section of the St Joseph appellation, whose soil is suited only for white grapes. It is the only St-Joseph white that comes entirely from this ideal terroir. The wine is fermented in tanks at low temperatures, and aged in one third in new barriques (with weekly batônnage) and two thirds in tanks. It is kept on its fine lees until the Spring after the harvest to develop additional complexity. Courbis assembles and bottles the white after 10 months of maturation. Lively and intense wine with distinct flavors of pit fruits (apricots and nectarines) and spice.
The St-Joseph Rouge comes from various vineyard parcels across the Courbis domaine, blended to produce a wine ready for near term drinking upon release. The soils are a combination of only limestone and granite. Vinified in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks with 15 days of vatting. Aged in a combination of 20% tanks and 80% barrels (15% new, with the balance 2 to 3 years old). After 10 months, the barrel aged wine is assembled back into tank for a few more months before bottling. The wine has generous, accessible, pure fruit and shows the full character of its appellation in the attractive Courbis house style.
|St-Joseph Rouge - Les Royes|
The terraced, cliff-like St-Joseph Les Royes vineyard is a spectacular “cirque” or extremely steep amphitheater. It is located at the southern limit of the St. Joseph appellation, on the border of Cornas. The exposition is to the south-east, so the amphitheater retains the heat of the day, while completely protecting the vines from northerly winds. The soil is a mixture of clay, granite, and limestone (the latter being the source of the small amount of Les Royes Blanc.) Yields are a miniscule 25 hl/ha and the vines average 30 years of age. The Syrah grapes for Les Royes Rouge are given a three week maceration period and fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. The wine is aged 100% in barrels, of which 1/3 are new; 1/3 one wine and 1/3 two wines. After 12-14 months in cask, the wine is assembled and aged for 3 additional months in tank before bottling. The St-Joseph Les Royes is a profound and complex wine with sweet black cherry-raspberry fruit, notes of minerals and smoke, and ripe tannins that give it remarkable structure.
|Cornas - Champelrose|
The Cornas Champelrose comes from various vineyard parcels across the Courbis domaine, mostly from vines near the base of Cornas slope. They are blended to produce a wine ready for near term drinking upon release. The soils are a combination of only limestone and granite. The Cornas Champelrose benefits from 3 weeks of vatting to extract as much color and flavor as possible. It is aged entirely in casks that are a mix of 25% new; 20% one year; and 55% 2-3 years of age. The barrel-aging period is 12 months, after which the wine is assembled in tank and aged for four more months before bottling. The wine has generous, accessible, pure fruit and shows the full character of its appellation in the attractive Courbis house style.
|Cornas - Les Eygats|
The one hectare, single-vineyard, terraced Cornas Les Eygats site is situated at a relatively high 250 meters of altitude. It has pure, decomposed granite soil and an ideal south-east exposure. The vines are 20 years old. Les Eygats benefits from 3 weeks of vatting to extract as much color and flavor as possible. It is aged entirely in barriques for 16 months, of which 50% are new and 50% one-year old. The Cornas Les Eygats is a highly concentrated wine, packed with mineral-tinged smoky black fruit that can age for many years but is always inviting when young.
Courbis’ 1.5 hectare Cornas La Sabarotte vineyard is considered to be among the very best sites of the appellation. It has extremely old, low yielding vines; most planted in 1947 but some are even older. The soil is a thin granite-limestone over protruding rocks. The site is perfectly exposed to the South-East. La Sabarotte sees 4 weeks of vatting to extract as much color and flavor as possible. It is aged in 100% new oak casks for 16 months and undergoes its malolactic fermentation in cask. The La Sabarotte is Courbis’ most dramatic Cornas wine, showing saturated black-purple in color with layers of chewy, ripe, sweet fruit with black olive and berry, tar and mineral notes.
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