You won’t confuse this stunning dessert wine with Muscat from Alsace, Beaumes-de-Venise, or anywhere else: its ravishing perfume of miel du maquis, wildflowers, and resinous herbs could come only from Corsica. We always keep a few vintages stocked in the Lynch cellar, since they age well and are a great way to start or end any meal. My favorite pairing is a bowl of delicate fresh ricotta—the closest we can get to Corsica’s brocciu—drizzled with raw honey.
One of the revelations—and great privileges—of visiting our growers in Corsica year after year has been discovering the surprising aging capacity of wines made from the Vermentinu grape. The transformation that comes with time is only just underway in this blanc from Yves Canarelli’s granitic vineyards in the island’s extreme south. At four years old, it is beginning to show secondary notes of gunflint, crushed stone, almond, and petrol, all while retaining youthful aromas of blossoms and exotic fruit. You’ll welcome the added intrigue to what is often dismissed as a simple summer refresher.
Patrimonio is ordinarily the source of Corsica’s darkest, brawniest reds, but 2018, a rainy year, produced much gentler wines than is typical from the Niellucciu grape. Instead of raw power, Yves Leccia’s 2018 is all about perfume: fragrant wild fruit, flowers, and smoky herbs with roasted, savory undertones. It even takes nicely to a slight chill.
A commanding hillside strewn with big stones and marine fossils, Carco is one of Patrimonio’s great vineyard sites. The 2016 vintage produced dark, concentrated wines with focused acidity and chewy tannins that have begun to melt together in the years since release. With an almost bloody quality comparable to the juices from the first cut into a thick ribeye, this just begs for red meat—give it a try next time in the place of your favorite Tuscan or Provençal red.
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