Cornas – La Sabarotte
100% Syrah. 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. La Sabarotte is Courbis’ most dramatic Cornas, showing saturated black-purple in color with layers of chewy, ripe, sweet fruit with black olive and berry, tar and mineral notes.
About the Producer
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. Because of the strong winds, the vines need to be tied up. 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.
Laurent and Dominique Courbis
Vinous report - 2017 & 2018 Northern Rhône - Josh Raynolds, 07:18:2019