Rare at Abbatucci, this wine is produced from a single grape variety taken from the nursery Jean-Charles’s father planted in the 1960s to save indigenous Corsican varieties from extinction. The grape’s potential was proven in small tests, and the decision was made to graft several acres of existing older rootstock over to the great Carcajolu. Barring anything yet to be discovered, today it reigns, along with the great Nielluccius of Patrimonio in the north, as Corsica’s noblest red wine grapes. –Dixon Brooke
|Producer:||Domaine Comte Abbatucci|
|Vineyard:||6 years average, 1.5 ha|
|Aging:||Aged in 1/3 older 600-L demi-muids and 2/3 stainless tank for 8-10 months|
On his large estate south of Ajaccio, Jean-Charles Abbatucci keeps a pristine poly-culture ecosystem in place, complete with herds of sheep foraging through his vines, groves of olive trees on ancient terraces, and large swaths of untouched forests. His vines come from cuttings of indigenous grapes, sourced decades ago high up in the mountainous interior of the island, saving several native varieties from extinction. To keep his vines happy, he’s known to drive his tractor out to his vineyards and play traditional Corsican polyphonic songs over loudspeakers for their benefit. After the harvest he’ll treat his cellar to the same music as his grapes ferment and come of age. All part of the terroir, he says.
For the wines that I buy I insist that the winemaker leave them whole, intact. I go into the cellars now and select specific barrels or cuvées, and I request that they be bottled without stripping them with filters or other devices. This means that many of our wines will arrive with a smudge of sediment and will throw a more important deposit as time goes by, It also means the wine will taste better.