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2015 Île de Beauté Rouge

Yves Leccia

2015 Île de Beauté <i>Rouge</i> Yves Leccia - Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant
Along with several contemporaries, Yves Leccia is in large part responsible for putting Corsican wine on the map. His tireless work ethic and precise craftsmanship have made him a proud flag bearer for the Patrimonio appellation, as his delightful whites, rosés, and reds brilliantly reflect the potential for fine wine in this island enclave. Although this red cannot be granted AOC status due to the high proportion of Grenache (80%, with 20% Niellucciu), it is nonetheless a compelling translation of the gorgeous seaside terroir from which it hails. Lively, fresh, and juicy, it offers hints of smoke, wild fruit, and maquis herbs that recall the rugged, rocky vineyard slopes. Its chewy tannins provide a touch of rusticity that makes this red an ideal match for anything off the grill, but it takes well to a slight chill and is utterly quaffable no matter the circumstances. Here at KLWM, we agree: this red is a real treat. –Anthony Lynch
Vintage: 2015
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: 80% Grenache 20% Niellucciu
Appellation: Patrimonio
Country: France
Region: Corsica
Producer: Yves Leccia
Winemaker: Yves Leccia
Vineyard: 20 to 40 years, 7.1 ha
Soil: Clay, Limestone, Schist
Aging: All red grapes are de-stemmed, then placed in stainless steel cuves for 12 to 15 days with daily pump-overs, then aged for 12 months
Farming: Lutte Raisonnée
Alcohol: 13.5%

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About Corsica

I first set foot on the island in 1980. I remember looking down from the airplane window seeing alpine forest and lakes and thinking, uh oh, I got on the wrong plane. Then suddenly I was looking down into the beautiful waters of the Mediterranean. Corsica is a small, impossibly tall island, the tail of the Alp chain rising out of the blue sea.—Kermit Lynch

Kermit’s first trip to the island proved fruitful, with his discovery of Clos Nicrosi’s Vermentino. More than thirty years later, the love affair with Corsica has only grown as we now import wines from ten domaines that cover the north, south, east, and west of what the French affectionately refer to as l’Île de Beauté.

Corsica is currently experiencing somewhat of a renaissance—interest has never been higher in the wines and much of this is due to growers focusing on indigenous and historical grapes found on the island. Niellucciu, Sciarcarellu, and Vermentinu are widely planted but it is now common to find bottlings of Biancu Gentile and Carcaghjolu Neru as well as blends with native varieties like Rossola Bianca, Minustellu, or Montaneccia.

As Kermit described above, Corsica has a strikingly mountainous landscape. The granite peaks top out above 9,000 feet. The terroir is predominantly granite with the exception of the Patrimonio appellation in the north, which has limestone, clay, and schist soils.The wines, much like their southern French counterparts make for great pairings with the local charcuterie, often made from Nustrale, the native wild boar, as well as Brocciu, the Corsican goats milk cheese that is best served within 48 hours of it being made.

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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.

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