I first set foot on the island in 1980. I remember looking down from the airplane window seeing alpine forest and lakes and thinking, uh oh, I got on the wrong plane. Then suddenly I was looking down into the beautiful waters of the Mediterranean. Corsica is a small, impossibly tall island, the tail of the Alp chain rising out of the blue sea. —Kermit Lynch
Kermit’s trip to the island proved fruitful, making him the first importer to find a fine, artisanal producer who was crating impeccable wines that could stand up to the mainland’s best. He kept exploring and slowly the portfolio grew, over thirty years in fact, and the result is our current portfolio of ten domaines who make not just great Corsican wines, but great wines, period! Corsica is currently experiencing an awakening of sorts—interest has never been higher in the wines, and much of this is due to growers focusing on indigenous and historical grapes only found on the island. Niellucciu, Sciaccarellu, and Vermentinu are widely planted, but it is now common to find bottlings of Biancu Gentile and Carcaghjolu Neru as well as blends featuring native varieties like Rossola Bianca, Minustellu, or Montaneccia. With a strong sense of Corsican pride, the island’s ambitious vignerons have lifted average quality to an all-time high through conscientious farming and traditional cellar practices. As Kermit described above, Corsica has a striking, mountainous landscape, with rugged peaks that top out at almost 9,000 feet. The terroir is dominated by poor, rocky soils of predominantly granite, with schist found in the northeast and small pockets of limestone in Patrimonio in the north and Bonifacio in the extreme south. The island boasts nine distinct AOC with top crus located in Cap Corse, Patrimonio, Calvi, Ajaccio, Sartène, Figari, and Porto Vecchio. Other poignant elements of Corsican terroir are the brambly aromatic maquis, with its wild myrtle, immortelle, and juniper bushes, and the winds that batter the island from all sides, including the maestrale, libecciu, and sciroccu. The wines are a direct product of sun, stone, sea, and wind. They make for great pairings with the local charcuterie, often made from Nustrale, the native wild boar, as well as brocciu, the Corsican goat’s milk cheese that is best served within 48 hours of being made.
**Use promo code CORSICA20 to take 20% OFF wines in the collection!** (valid now through the end of the month)
One reason Pinot Noir is so revered lies in its uncanny ability to translate minute nuances in terroir. The foremost example, of course, is Burgundy, where, as you’ll see, a Pinot from Saint-Romain bears little resemblance to one grown in Santenay, just miles away. But even outside of Burgundy, Pinot Noir has fascinatingly diverse interpretations of local conditions. This collection explores Pinot Noirs from distinctive terroirs of both France and Italy. You’ll taste classic Burgundian renditions, a Blanc de Noir from Champagne, rosés, as well as reds from Alsace, the Loire, Alto Adige, and Friuli.
Very few domaines anywhere in the world can match this one pound for pound in ecological footprint, consistent quality across a wide range of wines, and that all-important combination of intellectual interest and pure deliciousness. Tasting Thierry Germain’s wines for the first time was love at first sip. A cellar tasting with Thierry in Varrains reminds me of tasting in Burgundy
Here at Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant we don’t believe in selling anything mediocre, and we would certainly not put our name on a wine we didn’t believe in. So our values are just that, wines that are full of value and quality.
There are hundreds of wines in our portfolio, but not nearly enough space in our monthly newsletters to feature them all. Here you’ll find recent arrivals and new additions to our site, from half-bottles to Jeroboams, across France and Italy.