A RICH VARIETY
Planted in one single block, the 13-hectare Corbin vineyard is situated in the north-west of the Saint- Emilion appellation, on the doorstep of Pomerol.
It is made up of two types of soil:
Ancient sands surrounding the château over an iron-rich clay subsoil, which give the wine its delicacy and finesse.
Clay on the Pomerol side of the estate, which brings the wine its richness.
The dual aspect of Corbin’s soils produces wines of great complexity and elegance.
In 2004, a soil study at Corbin led to the implementation of a drainage system as well as the renewal of 35% of the plots for a better adaptation of grape varieties and rootstocks.
The vineyard’s grape composition is today 80% Merlot
and 20% Cabernet Franc.
The average age of the vines is 30 years, and the density of plantation ranges from 6,666 to 8,333 vines per hectare for the young plots.
By increasing this density, Anabelle Cruse Bardinet’s aim is to produce fewer bunches per vine and thereby an even higher quality crop.
The vines are pruned using the Single Guyot technique.
Within a given plot, the vines’ canes all point in the same direction, which enables the optimal occupation of space between the vines. This pruning method allows a production of 6 to 8 bunches per vine of exceptionally high quality grapes.
METICULOUS TENDING OF THE VINES
Each tiny detail counts, and there are more than a million vine-growing details to be carefully considered and carried out at Corbin. Every year, the vine workers attend to the needs of each of Corbin’s 75,000 vines 14 times.
When the grapes of a plot reach optimal ripeness, they are picked and placed in small crates to ensure that they’re handled with the greatest of care and the fruit is kept perfectly intact.
Harvesting is done meticulously plot by plot.
This is followed by painstaking sorting of the fruit. In the vat cellar, the grapes are sorted three times, once before the bunches are de-stemmed, and twice after, before the berries are crushed.
The berries are then vinified, having been transferred into temperature-controlled concrete vats according to the plot from which they were sourced. This allows each plot to be wholly vinified according to its potential.
When the time has come to begin the ageing process, the wine is run off into French oak barrels, which are rigorously selected from the best coopers.
The wines are racked once or twice. Then, after 17 to 19 months (depending on the vintage), they are filtered and bottled.
Since 2006, Jean-Philippe Fort, an oenologist belonging to the Michel Rolland team, has been Corbin’s consultant.
IN THE NEW VAT ROOM
Since 2016, Corbin’s grapes have been vinified in a new high-performing, innovative vat room in temperature-controlled concrete vats.
This room houses 18 small 50-hectolitre capacity vinification vats, each one of which corresponds to a particular plot of vines.
While unequivocally modern, the vat room blends seamlessly and subtly into Corbin’s previous cellar building. The soul of the place has been preserved. Technology and elegance cohabit in perfect harmony.
Since her arrival at Corbin, Anabelle Cruse Bardinet has made the care of her land a priority.
Her environmental approach is global and aims to make the whole of the site very eco-friendly, both as regards the vineyard and the wine production infrastructures.
Trees and hedges have been planted to enhance biodiversity. Well water is used for spray treatments and to water the grounds. The walls of the vat room and barrel cellar are coated with lime in order to regulate humidity naturally. The vines are tended and the soils ploughed according to “agriculture raisonnée” methods (reactive viticulture), without any use of weedkillers.