Our collection of reds from Corsica now has the kind of depth and variety that our collection of Loire, Rhône, Languedoc, and Beaujolais reds has long possessed. The Île de Beauté, as the French refer to Corsica, is blessed with incredible geological complexity and terroirs that are magically suited to the vine. This blend of Sciaccarellu, Grenache, and Syrah is from the eastern side of the island, in the foothills of the steep central mountains that plunge into the ocean, planted in the glacially polished stones of an old riverbed. Dark, full-bodied, and structured, this rouge channels the Rhône with its meaty, brambly fruit infused with flavors of black olive tapenade and woodsmoke.
This cuvée is planted in the decomposed granite terroir of Ajaccio in southwestern Corsica and is named for vigneron Jean-Charles Abbatucci’s daughter. He left the appellation of Ajaccio a number of years ago, because they refused to evolve their laws to accommodate the ancient grape varieties he had planted that were native to Corsica and pre-date the appellation system itself! In the 2017 vintage his Sciaccarello vines produced less, and there is a touch of Carcajolo Nero in the blend, along with Nielluccio (his father’s spelling for these grapes!). This medium-bodied red is a stunner with intense aromas of the local myrte that grows wild on this part of the island, great freshness, energy, and crunch, and the type of versatility that can accompany fish or meat and everything in between.
This is the first vintage produced from Canarelli’s “land of dreams,” the incredible white limestone terroir of Bonifacio. Planting this land, where there are only three vignerons currently working, has long been a dream of Canarelli’s, and he has spent years clearing by hand the land he purchased of trees, scrub, and massive amounts of rock in order to plant it to both white and red. His confidence in the results despite lack of proof in bottle elsewhere was inspiring, and I waited patiently and excitedly to be able to finally taste the first wine, after following the preparation, planting, plowing, and nurturing of the vineyards over the last five years. A blend of Sciaccarellu, Carcaghjolu Neru, and Minustellu, it is a red with a character unlike any other in Corsica. Each variety brings something interesting to the table: Sciaccarellu is Chambolle-like in its delicacy, while the Carcaghjolu brings the growl and brawn of Gevrey, and the Minustellu the silky seductiveness of Vosne. A wine of towering finesse and ethereal beauty, this new creation from Yves Canarelli emphatically reinforces the potential of Corsican wine to compete with the best from anywhere for your interest and attention.
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