If you look at a map of Corsica you'll find that importer Kermit Lynch has a tremendous star at every orientation of the island. Marquiliani on the east, Arena in the north, and Abbatucci to the west. Each of these names take up a larger space in my inventory as vintages progress. But, sitting at Lynch's picnic table last summer in Provence and being introduced to the Clos Canarelli rosé from the obscure Figari appellation on the southern tip was a revelation unlike any before.
Corsica's diversity is wide-ranging, but it's these wind-swept vineyards along the Mediterranean coast that produce peerless rosés. Clos Canarelli's 2015 last summer was spectacular, but the more classically-framed 2016 is the proverbial mic drop moment for the category. This is the rosé that hits every single mark.
Yves Canarelli took over his family's domaine in 1993, converting these 5th century B.C. parcels to organic and biodynamic. Many of the vineyards around his village of Tarabucetta had been planted to international varieties over the years. His immediate action of tearing these out and replanting with native grapes like Sciaccarellu and Niellucciu was not met with the type of admiration from locals you might expect. With conviction on his side he's now slowly become widely respected throughout Corsica. But, the reach of Canarelli's wines quickly swept through France and now the US has taken notice.
The Gulf of Figari provides a constant barrage of wind only amplifying that sea breeze minerality from the Mediterranean. The soils feature an interesting combination of granite and red sand that's particular to this southern tip. Like the Sciacarellu from Marquiliani on the eastern coast, the Clos Canarelli has a salinity that's unmatched in the world of rosé. Here, the addition of 30% Niellucciu and 20% Grenache give a bit more body and round texture. But, the reason this was the single-most-discussed wine among hundreds at the annual Kermit Lynch tasting in Los Angeles was due to that firm mineral spine and lingering salty spice. It was impossible to avoid a second pour.
Kermit Lynch's portfolio throughout Provence and Corsica is filled with the top talents.Since Marquiliani's rosé became doled out in small quantities I knew it was wise to go deep on Clos Canarelli's 2016 before the allocation game began. I was lucky enough to get in early, and with the generous quantity on hand I've created special 6-pack pricing today.
2016 Clos Canarelli Corse Figari Rosé
$37 per bottle.
Special 6-Pack Price: $199 ($33.16 per bottle)