Lyle Railsback had the brilliant instinct to serve this wine in magnum at his wedding in Italy in August. It certainly did not seem out of place on the grounds of an ancient castello in western Piedmont at the height of summer. I am not shy about sharing my opinion with any of our Italian growers that the world’s best Vermentino is produced in Corsica. Yves Leccia’s magical limestone terroir of E Croce in the northern commune of Poggio d’Oletta produces one of the island’s and the world’s most magnificent examples. Always fresh and saline, with ample body and tuned-up aromatics, this is an aperitivo par excellence and works wonders with anything fresh from the sea as well.
Yves selects certain parcels from his Patrimonio vineyards planted to Niellucciu, the noble grape of northern Corsica, to produce this direct-press rosé. Much like Sangiovese in Tuscany, from where it is thought to descend, or Mourvèdre in southern France, Niellucciu here maintains proper acidity in high heat and has ample antioxidative properties in its skins, producing a rosé that is both delicious and characterful and has staying power. Like biting into a perfect slice of juicy watermelon, this beauty from the Île de Beauté confirms that Yves is just as comfortable producing irresistible daily drinkers as he is producing grands vins de garde.
Leccia’s declassified rouge is made to give fans of the domaine an alternative to its muscular Patrimonio that can take a few years to soften up. By blending some of their Niellucciu with a majority of Grenache, planted mostly in schist, a highly aromatic, velvety-structured gem emerges that is a joy to drink young while it showcases the unique local flavors of Patrimonio. It is light enough to enjoy with fish but can handle just about anything with style.
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