The grapes to produce Saint-Joseph Rouge Domaine Courbis were hand harvested in small boxes, 100% destemmed and lightly pressed. Vinification took place in new vats at controlled temperatures of between 30 to 32°C. The Saint-Joseph Rouge Domaine Courbis maceration lasted between 12 to 15 days to achieve the maximum colour extraction. The wine was then matured for 10 months; of which 20% was oak of one year; 60% oak of third or fourth passage with the remaining 20% aged in stainless steel. The wine underwent regular racking prior to being bottled.
St Joseph is situated at the confluence of the Rhône and Isère rivers on the right bank of the Rhône. Domaine Courbis owns the most southern parcels of the St Joseph appellation, on very steep and terraced slopes, with a southern and eastern orientation. The soils comprise 30% clay and limestone, and 70% decomposed granite, which retains the heat from the day and promotes a long slow ripening period for the grapes. A green harvest takes place to encourage more mature flavour compounds and increase the quality of the berries. The average yield is 37 hectolitres per hectare.
Domaine Courbis dates from the 16th century and has been handed down from father to son since the start of the 20th century. It is now under the dynamic partnership of two brothers: Laurent, who is responsible for winemaking, and Dominique who looks after the vineyard. The vineyard currently extends to 35 hectares (including eight hectares in Cornas, five hectares in Saint Joseph Blanc and 19 hectares in Saint Joseph Rouge) in the communes of Châteaubourg and Cornas. The vines are planted on steep hillsides and the cellar is modern and equipped with temperature controlled stainless steel tanks and oak casks. The wines of Domaine Courbis are of extremely high quality and are consistently met with worldwide acclaim.
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