This Saturday we’ll be featuring some new wines from Corsica that have recently arrived on these shores. Corsica became French in 1769, but still retains some Italian winemaking traditions. Nielluccio, the local version of Sangiovesse, is the common red grape, but it more Corse than Tuscan. We’ll also be trying two new vintages from James Calmes, an ambitious Oenologist from the Languedoc who excels at making fresh and distinct wine at very affordable price. And lastly we’ll be trying a classic Northern Rhone Syrah by Francois Tardy from the great 2010 vintage. Three winemakers, three regions, five great values — Come see what it’s all about.
2011 Jerome Calmes Les Perles Picpoul $9
Picpoul which translates as “lip stinger” is the Muscadet of the South of France. The Les Perles, made by Jérôme Calmes, a very innovative oenologist, has fresh and fine aromas of grapefruit, exotic fruit and lime flavors that wake up your mouth.
2012 Clos Venturi, Domaine Vico, Vin de Corse Rosé $15
70% Nielluccio (Sangiovese ) and 30% Grenache
Founded in 1901, Domaine Vico is one of the oldest estates in Corsica. Located in the middle of the island, the soils are a unique mix of sandstone, shale and schiste. The 2012 Vico Rosé sports a pretty nose of ripe strawberry and cantaloupe. The fruit is very ripe due and plump with plenty of minerality to lend balance.
2010 Jerome Calmes, Les Capucin, Coteaux du Languedoc $10
75% Syrah 25% Grenache
The vineyards for Les Capucin are situated at 200 meters in the foothills of the Caroux Mountains in Languedoc. During the nights of end of summer, the altitude and proximity of mountains give coolness as a contrast to the high temperatures of the day and schistous soil helps to avoid water stress. The place is perfect for Syrah, and makes the Capucin an outstanding value with lots of dark fruit, full mouth, fine tannins, fresh aromas, and good balance
2012 Clos Venturi, Domaine Vico, Vin de Corse Rouge $15
80% Nielluccio, 20% Syrah
The vines for the Rouge range from 25 to 75 years old. In Corsica the Nielluccio is a local relative of Sangiovesse, but take on a different expression on these Island soils. The Vico is a distinct robust red with aromas of licorice, pepper, and raspberry and a supple, fruity palate.
2010 Francois Tardy, Les Champs Fourne, Crozes Hermitage $24
Francois Tardy, an organic grape farmer, makes intense, slightly wild, authentic, delicious Syrah. This fine-value Crozes comes from his younger (5-10 year old) vines. Its bright, bold berry fruit mixes with game and spice. The wine has good acidity, modest tannins, almost no oak.
And don’t forget our Rosé Taste-Off between the US and France this Sunday from 11-5. We will be comparing and contrasting these two lovelies:
Representing France is:
2011 R. Dubois & Fils Rosé ($10)
Sister and brother Béatrice and Raphaël Dubois have been running the estate together since 2006, winegrower in Burgundy for nine generations. Today, the young generation of the family shows an unusual collaboration between Béatrice, who, being a winemaker, takes care of the vinification with passion and Raphaël who is responsible for the vineyard and the wine marketing. The vineyard covers today 23.5 hectares. A succulent pink to hold us over until the boats come in. Was $15 now $10
Weighing in for the Americans we have:
2011 Sorter Vineyards North Valley Rosé ($13)
80% Pinot Noir, 16% Chardonnay, 4% Gewürztraminer
A somewhat odd blend of grapes for a rosé, but it totally works. Nice strawberry flavors mixed with a bit of spiciness from the Gewürztraminer. Sustainable.