A rich, mineral-packed Cornas from Courbis

The domaine Courbis is headed by the brothers Laurent and Dominique. They harvest manually, employ 100% de-stemming of the grapes by hand and use a lot of new oak barrels for malo and aging.  The vineyard La Sabarotte is steep and the soil in Cornas has a very thin top layer and the lower layers are dominated by decomposed granite but there is about 20% chalky clay too on a solid granite bed. The soil is very poor of nutrients, so the roots needs to dig hard here. Vines are planted primarily in 1947.

2011 La Sabarotte, Cornas Domaine Courbis

Color: Very dark deep purple middle and scarlet, light red purple edges.
Nose: Some oak notes. Distinct gravel, shale, dry plum, figs, tiny notes of rosemary, olives, eucalyptus, fresh forest breeze and loads of deep, complex minerals. Not a big nose, but archetypical and interesting. It really needs a lot of airing to show itself now.
Taste: A very concentrated wine with medium structure, body and very dense but with already soft, very approachable tannins. Grape juice, fennel, fresh, opulent black fruit with some depth, gravel, nutmeg and loads of complex minerals and gravel. Some toasty notes from oak, but nothing disturbing so obviously the brothers are very skilled with oak. It is well balanced, rich and quite persistent, but lacks grip and backbone in the end.

Impressive concentration, quit complex and balance wine indeed, but now the nose is more interesting than the taste which lacks backbone and even though the oak is skillfully used, we lack elegance now. Costs about €50.


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