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Patrimonio

Reds from Corsica’s Premier AOC

by Anthony Lynch

Buy this collection (3 bottles)

$116.00
Patrimonio - Anthony Lynch
Patrimonio - Anthony Lynch

Granted AOC status in 1968, Patrimonio represents Corsica’s very first appellation, the veritable epicenter of a qualitative revolution at a time when the island was best known for producing bulk in high volume. While landowners in some parts of Corsica—notably the flatter, fertile east coast, where single estates extended over hundreds of hectares—planted high-yielding grapes and adopted shortcuts geared at increasing production, Patrimonio’s vignerons proudly farmed small family plots via traditional methods. The appellation’s pioneering producers by and large embraced indigenous grape varieties—Niellucciu for red, Vermentinu for white—and rejected industrial production techniques. Today, Patrimonio is a dynamic wine region featuring a mix of exciting young producers and established legends who paved the way. The entire appellation has also made a commitment to sustainability, becoming France’s first AOC to ban synthetic herbicides.
      Patrimonio’s magic lies in its mosaic of soils, with glossy schist from the mountainous Cap Corse mingling with white limestone deposits and pockets of craggy granite. A sunny climate defined by opportune rainfall and the moderating influence of the nearby Mediterranean makes this a viticultural paradise comparable to the most renowned terroirs of southern France and coastal Italy.
      Stylistically, red Patrimonio falls somewhere between the earthy, herbal nature of traditional Chianti, with which it shares the principal grape (Niellucciu being a Corsican descendant of Sangiovese), and the gamey rusticity of Bandol. A deep savory quality is standard, along with thick black fruit specked with licorice, spice, smoke, wild herbs, and a woodsy quality reminiscent of a walk through a Mediterranean forest.
      This trio of reds offers three very different sides of Patrimonio. There is something striking about the pinpoint precision of Yves Leccia’s rouge, its notes of iron, wet asphalt, and maquis herbs soaring over a chewy, yet chiseled tannic frame. Young Simon Giacometti, who already boasts several stellar vintages under his belt, crafts a more supple red in the Désert des Agriates, a remote corner of the appellation characterized by granite outcrops interspersed with dense thickets of fragrant shrubbery. The juicy, brambly fruit and hints of smoked meat come into perfect focus with a slight chill. Lastly, Muriel Giudicelli is the only one to age her Patrimonio in wood, opting for large foudres to impart a fine grain and satiny texture. Of the three, with its concentrated aromas of black cherry and plum, it shows the strongest kinship with Tuscany.





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Warnings


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