2017 Domaine Courbis "La Sabarotte" Cornas

SKU #1442748 94-97 points Jeb Dunnuck

 The 2017 Cornas La Sabarotte is similarly purple-colored and boasts more black fruits, spice, chocolate, and dried soil/earthy notes. It's full-bodied, powerful and rounded, with a terrific sense of balance and purity paired with ample meatiness, density, and classic full-throttle Cornas character. It might just rival the 2016, which is saying something. These 2016s and 2017s from the Courbis brothers are terrific follow-ons to their brilliant 2015s. The 2016 Cornas are some of the finest in the vintage and have sexy, ripe profiles that offer more pleasure than most. The 2017s are in the same ballpark, with slightly more upfront charm and approachability. In addition to the Cornas releases, this team is turning out some heavenly Saint Josephs!  (12/2018)

94-96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2017 Cornas la Sabarotte is aging in 100% new oak, where it's projected to stay approximately 18 months. Full-bodied and rich, it delivers concentrated plum and crushed stone flavors in a ripe, almost plush format that ends in a long velvety rush of licorice-spiced fruit.(JC)  (12/2018)

94-95 points Vinous

 lass-staining, bright-rimmed purple. Displays potent, mineral-accented dark berry preserve and incense aromas that are complemented by floral oil, vanilla and exotic spice nuances. Chewy, densely packed and focused on the palate, offering intense blackberry, blueberry, violet pastille and smoky bacon flavors that become livelier with air. Close on strong mineral and floral notes, with solid thrust, youthful, gripping tannins and superb persistence. (70% new oak) (JR)  (7/2019)

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Price: $64.99

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- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.


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- Legendary wine-producing region in southeast France. Stereotypically speaking, Rhone wines are high in alcohol, and the majority produced is red. The northern Rhone is best known for outstanding 100% Syrah wines from areas such as Cote Rotie and Hermitage, as well as for fabulous white wines from Condrieu (where Viognier is king). In the southern Rhone, look for spicy, full-bodied wines that are blends of Grenache, Syrah, and other varietals coming from appellations such as Chateauneuf du Pape, Gigondas, or Rasteau. Wines labeled as Cote du Rhone or Cotes du Rhone Village (a cut above generic Cotes du Rhone) are frequently found here in the US because they often represent some of the best values on the market.