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Domaine Courbis, Saint-Joseph La Cotte Sud, Rhône, France, 2020

Regular price $56.00

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Overview of the Wine
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.


Rhône, France

Winemaker's Tasting Notes
La Cotte Sud is from a 1 hectare, south-facing parcel located on the Glun/Châteaubourg border, 500 meters from the Courbis winery. The vineyard is on a steep slope with a granite-sand-stony soil. Laurent and Dominique planted the vines in 1993 with the hope of eventually producing an exceptional St-Joseph wine that parallels their Cornas La Sabarotte. Prior to 2015, the Cotte Sud fruit was blended into the Domaine’s basic St Joseph. The Courbis brothers chose to launch their new cuvee in extraordinary 2015 vintage because the wine attained quality level they aimed for. It was vinified over 4 weeks in stainless steel tanks to extract as much color and flavor as possible. It was then aged in 50% new and one-year-old oak casks for 16 months and underwent its malolactic fermentation in cask. The Cotte Sud is Courbis’ most dramatic St-Joseph wine. 250 cases produced.

94 - 96 Points - Jeb Dunnuck
Also terrific, the 2020 Saint Joseph La Cotte Sud has a riper, spicier style in its red and black fruits, scorched earth, violets, and spicy, incense, and meaty nuances. It's another powerful, concentrated, yet beautifully balanced and impeccably made wine from this team.

92-94 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Still aging in 50% new oak at the time of my visit, the 2020 Saint Joseph La Cotte Sud—from a hectare of vines planted on south-facing granitic soils in 1986—is a dense, powerful expression of the terroir. Offering up hints of violets and blueberries on the nose, it's fruity and ripe on the full-bodied palate, with plenty of richness on the mocha-tinged finish. It should be bottled in May or June of 2022. It was great to be back at the Courbis's hillside tasting room in the tiny commune of Châteaubourg, hosted by the always genial Laurent Courbis. We started with prepared barrel samples of the 2020s, a vintage which he said, "[is] ripe but fresh, aromatic, with great balance, similar to 2017." We then moved into the bottled 2019s, which are another solid vintage for the Courbis family, although maybe lacking some of the spark of 2020. These are modern, ripe, sometimes oaky wines that I'm sure make some purists wince but which provide immense pleasure and have yet to see prices soar out of reach.

Product size: 750ml

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