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2017 Patrimonio Rosé

Antoine Arena
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Antoine Arena’s rosé is a rare treat only produced in certain years, but this just-released 2017 is even more unusual. When this saignée of Niellucciu did not finish its fermentation, Antoine left it in tank hoping that it would eventually wake up and consume its last few grams of sugar. It bubbled away at a glacial pace until his son, Antoine-Marie, passed the wine over some pomace (marc) from the 2021 harvest. This sort of ripasso succeeded in boosting the yeasts, allowing the 2017 rosé to finally complete its fermentation to full dryness.
     This creative technique also had the effect of brightening up the wine, which tastes fresh as a daisy despite being more than five years old. It is bursting with fresh berry fruit in a darker style that blurs the lines between dark pink and light red.

Anthony Lynch

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Technical Information
Wine Type: Rosé
Vintage: 2017
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Niellucciu
Appellation: Patrimonio
Country: France
Region: Corsica
Producer: Antoine Arena
Winemaker: Antoine Arena
Vineyard: .5 ha
Soil: Chalk, Clay, Limestone
Farming: Organic (certified)
Alcohol: 12%

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About The Region

Corsica

map of 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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Terroirs

Great winemakers, great terroirs, there is never any hurry. And I no longer buy into this idea of “peak” maturity. Great winemakers, great terroirs, their wines offer different pleasures at different ages.

Inspiring Thirst, page 312

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