Courbis Cornas La Sabarotte 2009
Syrah/Shiraz from Cornas, Rhone, France
The Cornas La Sabarotte parcel – widely considered to be among the very best sites of the appellation - has extremely old vines (most planted in 1947 but some are even older) on a granite-limestone soil. It is Courbis' most dramatic wine, showing saturated black-purple in color with layers of chewy, ripe, sweet fruit with black olive and berry, tar and mineral notes. It has remarkable intensity and richness.
The Wine Advocate - "One of the finest Cornas wines I have tasted is Courbis’s 2009 Cornas La Sabarotte. With a style similar to Les Eygats, it exhibits notes of blueberry and blackberry liqueur intermixed with incense, creosote, charcoal, roasted meats and spring flowers. It possesses fabulous fruit as well as a skyscraper-like texture. There is no evidence of new oak because of the lavish concentration. This enormously impressive, full-bodied, massive wine will be even better in 5-10 years and should last for 25+ years. "
Wine Spectator - "Takes a ripe, modern approach at first, with roasted fig, crushed plum and raspberry notes leading the way, but also lots of roasted earth and tobacco tugging from underneath to keep this honest. A piercing chalky streak emerges on the finish, providing added length and range. Very impressive. Best from 2014 through 2025."
The origins of the Courbis family estate date back to the 16th century. More recently, the brothers Dominique and Laurent Courbis have succeeded their father, Maurice, who was the mayor of Chateaubourg, their hometown.
All the grapes are harvested by hand and yields are kept to an average of 30 hl/ha. The fruit is 100% destemmed and the maceration period for the Syrahs lasts between two and three weeks. The wines mature in oak casks which are new or up to three years old. The red wines are fined with egg whites but not filtered and are bottled between two and three years of the harvest.
The wines of the Courbis estate are some of the most compelling examples of St. Joseph and Cornas being made today. The Courbis brothers have combined their long family experience with a modern style and this has earned them international recognition. Robert Parker sums it up in his book on Rhone wines: “Courbis is a name to watch in the Northern Rhone.” Courbis wines regularly receive rave reviews in Wine Spectator, International Wine Cellar, The Wine Advocate and Revue du Vin de France. View all Courbis Wines
About CornasView a map of Cornas wineries (core-NAHS)
Notable FactsAll Syrah, all the time. No whites from this appellation. The Syrah grapes are sun-drenched and well-protected from the Mistral winds on the super steep hills where the vineyards are terraced. The wines have got power and punch, and are perhaps a bit rougher around the edges than an Hermitage. Flavors coming from wines of Cornas are big and powerful, with lots of leather, earth & spice, yet backed by the typical black fruit of a Syrah.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.