ownerThe Barbou Family
- Vineyard Area: 26 ha
- Soil Type: Clay subsoils and a surface of rounded flint and quartz gravel
- Varieties Cultivated: Pinot Noir, Pineau d Aunis, Cabernet Franc, Côt, Sauvignon Blanc
- Country: France
- Winemaker: Dominique Barbou
Dominique and Véronique Barbou have brought renown to their hometown of Oisly for their deep, mineral-driven Touraine wines. Domaine des Corbillières was founded in 1905 and purchased in 1923 by Fabel Barbou, Dominique’s great-grandfather. Legend has it that Fabel was the first to recognize the benefits of growing Sauvignon Blanc in Touraine when he allowed a vine to grow against his home and discovered how well it took to the terroir. He and his grandson, Maurice (Dominique’s father), slowly expanded the property. The Barbous started bottling their own cuvees in the 1950s, and the estate has come to be regarded as a point of reference in the Central Loire for their elegant Sauvignon. The Barbous farm their vineyards sustainably, using organic treatments as often as possible and shunning pesticides entirely.
Domaine des Corbillières consists of 26 hectares in Oisly, approximately 16 of which are planted to Sauvignon Blanc, one to Chardonnay and nine to red varietals Pineau d’Aunis, Pinot Noir, Côt and Cabernet Franc. The commune of Oisly is situated on the sandy alluvial plains of the Sologne, 30 kilometers east of Tours and 30 kilometers south of Blois in the Loire Valley. The deep clay subsoils of Oisly and a surface of rounded flint and quartz gravel have recently earned the commune its own appellation of Touraine Oisly. The Barbous farm their vineyards sustainably, but push beyond the requirements of lutte-raisonnée by the use of organic treatments as often as possible and absolutely no pesticides. They emphasize keeping yields low by a severe de-budding of the grapes, and they use leaf-pulling on their reds to encourage ripeness. The vines range in age between 10 to 45 years, and the Barbous only harvest by hand.
Dominique takes a non-interventionist approach to vinifications. All of the grapes are fermented in tanks with native yeasts, and therefore unfold slowly. The fermentation of the Sauvignon Blanc lasts for an entire month, after which time the wine is left to age on fine lees. Their Touraine Rosé, made of 70 percent Pinot Noir and 30 percent Pineau d’Aunis, is crushed and left to macerate on the skins for 12 hours. The Touraine Rouge “Les Demoiselles” is composed of almost equal parts of Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc and Côt. The cuvee macerates at 28 to 30°C for up to ten days before a natural fermentation in tank. All of the cuvees are released in the spring, emphasizing freshness, penetrating aromatics and deep minerality. The Sauvignon is high-toned, bright and full of zesty citrus aromas and the rosé is pale with gentle notes of white pepper. While the Rouge shines in its youth with blackberries and crushed stones, it can age well for up to seven years.