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.
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’Ardeche. The vineyards are all on south and east facing slopes in the communes of Chateaubourg, 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 one and half 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. In a feature profile on the domaine in 2002, Wine Spectator noted that “Laurent and Dominique Courbis are giving Cornas added cachet with their sophisticated Syrahs.” Robert Parker sums it up in his book on Rhone wines: “Courbis is a name to watch in the Northern Rhone.” And Parker has described recent vintages in these words: “After the brilliant success of their 2009 vintage, I thought it would be difficult for this estate to equal what they achieved, but the 2010s are all stunning and the 2011s are not far behind.” Courbis wines regularly receive rave reviews in Wine Spectator, International Wine Cellar, The Wine Advocate, the Bettane & Desseauve Grand Guide, and the Revue du Vin de France.