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2021 Corse Figari Rosé

Clos Canarelli
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You wouldn’t realize it if you met them, but the Canarelli family is perhaps the most respected, accomplished yet discreet clan in southern Corsica. They built, own, and manage the famed Michelin-starred restaurant Cala Rossa in Porto-Vecchio, as well as the Domaine de Murtoli in Sartène, which is by far the most unique and breathtaking accommodation available in Corsica (visit www.murtoli.com to see what I mean). Regardless, the crown jewel of the family is the Clos Canarelli, a small patchwork of the family’s vineyards around the village of Tarrabucetta, within the appellation of Figari on the southern tip of Corsica. Figari has a Wild West feel to it—the mountains of the north give way here to hot and dry foothills and prairies, closer to its neighbor Sardinia in feel than to the rest of Corsica. You half expect tumbleweeds to blow over the small roads that cross the empty expanses in this region, where small, shuttered-up, nearly ghost towns dot the landscape.
   Decomposed granite dominates the soil, and fierce, hot winds blowing up from Africa carrying sand and salt relentlessly sweep the land. It’s a tough place to grow grapes—or much of anything, for that matter. Yves Canarelli, a younger lad of sharp intellect who owns and runs the domaine, introduced biodynamic farming to the region and over several years of trial and error has successfully adapted it to his land. Never before have vines in such a hot, arid, windswept area looked so lush and content.
    Through nothing but word of mouth, a following and fervor has grown around Yves’s wines, making them the rarest and hardest to find in Corsica. Some say his Sciaccarellu-based rosé is not only the best rosé there is from Corsica, but the best all of France has to offer. Others in the press have named him “Le Roi du Vermentinu,” while many have fallen for his Niellucciu-based red, with its ethereal, airy, smoke-filled nose, and intense, voluminous black fruit. What all agree on is the wines have focus, purity, and vibrancy, while never being flashy or showy. Think the class of a DeNiro as opposed to the brash and brawn of a Pesci. The understated elegance of his labels sets the mood.

Chris Santini

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Technical Information
Wine Type: Rosé
Vintage: 2021
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: 50% Sciaccarellu, 30% Niellucciu and 20% Grenache
Appellation: Corse Figari
Country: France
Region: Corsica
Producer: Clos Canarelli
Winemaker: Yves Canarelli
Vineyard: Planted in 1997, 13.25 ha
Soil: Granite
Aging: Wine undergoes partial (50%) malolactic fermentation in 100% stainless steel
Farming: Biodynamic (certified)
Alcohol: 13.5%

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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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