2016 Vouvray “Le Portail”Champalou
France | Loire
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Now is a good time to pay close attention to Corsican reds. The island’s rosés and whites need no further introduction, as they have shown remarkably consistent quality for the last several vintages. At times, however, Corsican reds have veered toward plummy and overripe—which is not surprising, given that temps in the summer can regularly top a hundred for several days straight. Regardless of the heat, one trend I’ve noticed these past few years is our growers’ increasing ability to harness the elements that can counter the sun and limit overripeness. All of our Corsican producers, for example, live close to the sea and their vines lie under a constant sea breeze, which many consider to have cleansing powers that ward off disease and allow grapes to stay cool.
Domaine Giacometti brings freshness to their reds through radically different vinification methods. Gone are the days of extraction. The domaine now speaks of “infusion,” coaxing flavor and spice from the grapes by gently soaking them in their juice, more along the lines of making tea than wine. Their Patrimonio rouge is deceptively light and fluid, so leave it some time in the glass to experience all the subtleties they’ve teased out of the grapes.
|Blend:||97% Niellucciu, 3% Grenache|
|Vineyard:||10 to 45 years, 35 ha total|
|Aging:||Aged for 10 months on fine lees in stainless steel tank|
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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