2015 Domaine Courbis "La Cote Sud" Saint-Joseph (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1342711 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 This is the first vintage for this wine, sourced from granitic, south-facing slopes. The 2015 Saint Joseph La Cote Sud is dense and nearly impenetrable. Hugely concentrated, with massive cassis fruit and waves of firm tannins, it will need a few years (or more) in the cellar to become approachable. After the dense, concentrated and tannic wines turned out by this domaine in 2015, it was a pleasure to taste through the charming, seductive 2016s. Proprietor Laurent Courbis describes them as “very pleasant, in the style of 2012 and 2014. Aromatic, easy to drink. Not a vintage to hold a long time but to drink young.” As you’ll see from the reviews, I think it’s actually a bit better than those years.(JC)  (12/2017)

94 points Jeb Dunnuck

 A new cuvée (or at least the first time I've tasted it), the 2015 Saint Joseph La Côte Sud offers a richer, riper style than the other Saint Joseph releases from Courbis. Blackcurrants, toasted spice, licorice and cured meat notes all flow to a concentrated, unctuous 2015 that has terrific fruit intensity and a great finish. The tannins are slightly more pronounced, but there’s tons of sweet fruit and awesome purity, all contributing to a gorgeous Saint Joseph that's going to drink nicely for a decade or more. The Courbis brothers have hit a home run with these 2015s, the finest wines I’ve tasted from this brilliant estate. All three of the single vineyard Cornas are incredible wines, with the Les Eygats being one of finest Cornas ever made. The 2016s are also terrific wines that aren’t far behind the 2015s, and they’ll be approachable at an earlier age as well.  (1/2018)

91-93 points Vinous

 Vivid purple. Mineral- and spice-accented aromas of ripe dark berries, licorice and violet on the nose. At once fleshy and energetic, offering juicy blackberry and bitter cherry flavors, and taking on a hint of smokiness and a touch of cola on the back half. Turns sweeter on the nicely persistent finish, which features supple tannins and lingering smoke and floral nuances.(JR)  (4/2017)

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Price: $54.99
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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.


- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them.


- 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.