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2020 Vin de France Rouge “Ministre Impérial”

Domaine Comte Abbatucci
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Beyond his status as a biodynamic farming guru, Jean-Charles Abbatucci has conducted deep research into the history of Corsican wine, making him the guardian of the island’s viticultural heritage. His father laid down the groundwork when he salvaged and replanted an extensive collection of nearly extinct indigenous grapes, allowing Jean-Charles to reap the benefits through cuvées such as this striking medley of Sciaccarello, Nielluccio, Carcajolo-Nero, Montanaccia, Morescono, Morescola, and Aleatico. Corsican vignerons of an era past recognized the unique qualities that each variety brought to the table, and now Abbatucci’s complex blend confirms that the whole is indeed greater than the sum of its parts. Raised in foudres, this red is nuanced, finessed, and coursing with mystical biodynamic energy.

Anthony Lynch

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Technical Information
Wine Type: red
Vintage: 2020
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: 22% Sciacarellu, 18% Niellucciu, 15% Carcajolu-Neru, 15% Montaneccia, 12% Morescono, 10% Morescola, 8% Aleatico
Country: France
Region: Corsica
Producer: Domaine Comte Abbatucci
Winemaker: Jean-Charles Abbatucci
Vineyard: Planted from 1960-1962, 2 ha
Soil: Granite
Aging: Aged in older 600-L demi-muids
Farming: Biodynamic (certified)
Alcohol: 14.5%

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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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Where the newsletter started

Every three or four months I would send my clients a cheaply made list of my inventory, but it began to dawn on me that business did not pick up afterwards. It occurred to me that my clientele might not know what Château Grillet is, either. One month in 1974 I had an especially esoteric collection of wines arriving, so I decided to put a short explanation about each wine into my price list, to try and let my clients know what to expect when they uncorked a bottle. The day after I mailed that brochure, people showed up at the shop, and that is how these little propaganda pieces for fine wine were born.—Kermit Lynch

Read the whole story

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