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2022 Patrimonio Blanc “Hauts de Carco”

Antoine-Marie Arena
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Gazing up at the lofty incline Arena calls “Hauts de Carco,” which climbs a towering limestone ridge littered with fossilized seashells, inspires awe on every occasion. If the rocky white soil is comparable to that of Chablis, the wine is certainly as chalky, and drinking it provides the same thrill I feel when I look up at that impossibly steep slope, with the glistening Mediterranean lurking just over the hills. It is both lusciously creamy and tightly coiled, striking an impeccable balance achievable only by the most skilled vignerons in very top terroirs.

Anthony Lynch

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Technical Information
Wine Type: white
Vintage: 2022
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Vermentinu
Appellation: Vin de France
Country: France
Region: Corsica
Producer: Antoine-Marie Arena
Winemaker: Antoine-Marie Arena
Vineyard: Planted in 2003, 1 ha
Soil: Limestone, chalk, clay
Aging: 12 months in neutral 300-L barrels
Farming: Organic (certified)
Alcohol: 12.5%

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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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Old cob-webbed wine bottles

Living wines have ups and downs just as people do, periods of glory and dog days, too. If wine did not remind me of real life, I would not care about it so much.

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