Château Corbin is one of the oldest estates in Saint-Émilion. The foundations of the Château date back to the 15th century when (according to legend) the site was the centre of a stronghold that belonged to the Black Prince, an exceptional English military leader who launched successful campaigns into France.
The estate as it stands today was built in the 19th century. Corbin was purchased in 1924 by the great-grandparents of the current owners. Since 1999, the estate has been managed by Anabelle Cruse-Bardinet, an enologist who represents the 4th generation of the family.
The Corbin vineyards border the Pomeral appellation, stretching over 32 contiguous acres. The terroir here covers two of Saint-Émilion’s distinct soil types: dense clay, which produces wines of power; and iron-clay layered under ancient sandy soil, which produces subtler, gentler wines. The plantings, 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, are tended using environmentally-friendly practices. Yields are kept low, and only fruit from the best plots and the oldest vines are used to make Château Corbin.
Grapes are hand-harvested plot-by-plot and sorted three times. De-stemmed berries are vinified by plot in concrete vats, macerated on skins for three to four weeks, then aged in French oak barrels for 16 to 17 months.
“Nose starts with fresh brewed coffee, cedar and chocolate toffee. With a bit of air it shows ripe plum, sweet licorice and fresh leather. Wonderful dark round fruit on the palate with velvety caressing tannins. Full with a long finish with lots of dark fruit. Succulent wine.”
93 points, JamesSuckling.com, Feb 2013
“This 2010 is a spectacular wine from Annabelle Cruse-Bardinet from her 33-acre vineyard in the lieu-dit of Corbin (hence the name of the château). Lush, concentrated black currant and kirsch-like fruit, a hint of licorice and some floral notes and subtle background oak jump from the glass of this blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. It is another relatively large-scaled St.-Emilion at 15% natural alcohol, but the good news is that there are nearly 4,500 cases of this wine in the marketplace. The purity, sumptuous texture and seductive nature of this wine will endear it to most readers. It is certainly a sleeper of the vintage, as Corbin has rarely made a wine of this intensity and richness, at least not in many a year. Drink it over the next 15+ years.”
92 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Feb 2013