A candidate for the wine of the vintage in Cornas, the 2017 Cornas La Sabarotte knocks it out of the park with its awesome bouquet of blackcurrants, blackberries, toasted spice, graphite, crushed violets, and scorched earth aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, massively concentrated, and opulent, it has a wall of tannins under its fruit, a deep, concentrated mid-palate, and a great finish. It needs 4-5 years of bottle age and will cruise for 15-20 years. This cuvée comes from a granite terroir and was fermented and aged all in new French oak.
Score: 98 points -- Jeb Dunnock, jebdunnock.com, 2019
Domaine Courbis’ modern, gravity-fed winery is located in the commune of Chateaubourg on the right bank of the Rhone, where the Isere river flows in from the east. This is the most southerly section of the St. Joseph AOC, with Cornas AOC next door. Brothers Laurent and Dominique oversee the Domaine’s 33 hectares of vineyard holdings, including some of the most highly regarded sites in Cornas. Fermentation is in sealed, temperature regulated steel vats and concrete tanks to produce the robust, fruit-forward, and polished style that characterizes Courbis wines; maturation is in oak barrels, with new wood reserved only for the top cuvees.