Three generations ago, when Laurent Giacometti purchased a derelict, sprawling vineyard and estate in the middle of the Désert des Agriates, the previous owner handed him the keys and dryly told him, “Welcome to the village where it’s always raining somewhere else.” For centuries, agricultural plans and projects have failed spectacularly in this aptly named desert, and the Giacomettis struggled for many years as well. It took more than three decades of organic farming and persistence for their vines to learn to go deep, away from the parched and sea-salt-crusted surface. This rustic, pomegranate-tinged year-round rosé is for the table, not the pool.
Vanilla may be a cringe-worthy word in the wine trade these days, bringing up bad memories from a bygone era when terms such as tar, tannin, chocolate, vanilla, oak, and bomb were often used together to sell over-the-top concoctions. But what about real-deal vanilla? I’m talking cured Madagascar bourbon seed, lightly crushed, delicate and discreet. Add some white flowers, soft white fruit, a lightly bitter finish . . . and voilà! You’ve got classic Canarelli.
On my first visit to Abbatucci, instead of a glass and a taste, I was treated to a stack of papers, each one covered in a swirl of crystals. This crystallization is a decades-old biodynamic technique of heating a few drops of wine with copper sulfate on a special paper, which then “reads” the energy and intensity of each wine. It was (and still is) a bit Greek to me, but I can tell you that the Ministre crystals were off the chart, and Abbatucci was beaming with pride. All you’ll need, though, to feel this unbridled energy in the wine, is a corkscrew.
Drinking distilled spirits, beer, coolers, wine and other alcoholic beverages may increase cancer risk, and, during pregnancy, can cause birth defects. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/alcohol
Many food and beverage cans have linings containing bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical known to cause harm to the female reproductive system. Jar lids and bottle caps may also contain BPA. You can be exposed to BPA when you consume foods or beverages packaged in these containers. For more information, go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/bpa