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. But, sitting with Lynch at his picnic table over summer in Provence presented a great intro to perhaps the greatest Corsican discovery to date.
Clos Canarelli from the obscure Figari appellation on the southern tip was a revelation unlike any before. For those who gravitate toward saline-infused Mediterranean whites and rosés, the duo featured here has no rival.
Today, I'm happy to offer the Clos Canarelli Figari Blanc and Rosé, with special pricing on mixed 6-Packs.Corsica's diversity is wide-ranging, but it's these wind-swept vineyards along the Mediterranean coast that produce wines harnessing the abundant sun with an undeniable sea-breeze and mineral tone. A style that's simply peerless when we enter this genre of dead-serious regal wines.
The white (100% Vermentino) melds green apple, white peach, and almond notes with a pulverized rocky core. The rosé (50% Sciaccarellu, 30% Niellucciu, 20% Grenache) brings the same underlying tension of minerality, with faint strawberry and pomegranate traits, all wrapping up with a lingering salty persistence. 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.At the Los Angeles trade tasting it was Clos Canarelli that stole the show. Kermit Lynch's portfolio throughout Provence and Corsica is filled with the top talents. Since Marquiliani's rosé became allocated in small quantities I knew it was wise to go deep on Clos Canarelli before it falls prey to the same fate.
2016 Clos Canarelli Corse Figari Rosé
$37 per bottle.
2017 Clos Canarelli Corse Figari Blanc
$49 per bottle.
Marquiliani's rosé of Sciaccarellu from the east coast of Corsica is personally the most highly anticipated rosé release of the year. There's a wide range of rosés I buy annually, and even have favorite pairings for each, but the one that's captured my heart above all is this pale copper hued, diamond cut gem.
The native Sciaccarellu grape is grown here on decomposed granite terraces a couple miles from the Mediterranean, and just below the towering 8,000 foot Mount Renosu - ensuring cool breezes to balance out the island's hot summer temperatures.
Along with her father Daniel, Anne Almaric tends the minuscule 2 hectare of vines that her family took over in the 1950's. There was a 20 year span where this 200 year-old domaine had remained abandon. Daniel was a pioneer, the first to plant Sciaccarellu on the eastern side of the island. Anne's background in agricultural chemistry lent a keen eye toward viticulture and the vines have prospered under her watch. Some of the greatest rosés in the world come from domaines that produce red, white, and pink wines, but here each single grape grown is destined to be rosé.
Marquiliani speaks from a very extreme edge of the general rosé landscape. It's wickedly precise with an undeniable laser-like focus through its finish. Mouth-watering and mineral infused, with a texture that is so fine if you think to hard it may just vanish completely. The fruit spectrum is very much in the citrus realm, with grapefruit, faint passionfruit, and jasmine notes always hallmarks.
Importer Kermit Lynch's comment on Almaric's rosé may be his very most recognized,
"Drinking her rosé is like drinking a cloud. There's an absolute weightlessness to it. Nothing is left on the palate but perfume."
Corsicans don't let much of this leave the island, so when given the opportunity each year I bring in as much as possible.
2015 Marquiliani Rosé
$29 per bottle.
A year after release, this warm vintage has developed beautifully in bottle. Acidity has softened and the floral characteristics have turned more pronounced and vibrant.
2016 Marquiliani Rosé
$29 per bottle.
A return back to more temperate weather, where brightness of fruit is highlighted and the typical linear nature of the wine is back front and center.