Wine Club Dirt – May 2017

Corsican Rosé

Of the many, many rosés being made in the world, the rosés of Corsica are our favorites. They do something magical – they provide all of that refreshing drinkability that we love a rosé to deliver, but it’s done with an elegance and complexity that is rarely seen elsewhere. They are stunning, offering the rosé lover everything there is to love about rosé and then some.

We’re featuring two dynamic Corsican producers in Dirt this month. Antoine Arena, who farms organically in the appellation of Patrimonio, located at the southern end of the Cap Corse peninsula. And Anne Amalric, who is situated in the village of Aghione on the eastern coast of the island. Both wines are beautiful, uniquely Corsican, and absolutely drinkable. The quality that these two vintners put forth is remarkable, it shows in their wines.

Antoine Arena Patrimonio Rosé 2015 – $39.99/btl

The Patrimonio Rosé is made from 80% Niellucciu and 20% Vermentinu (the Corsican spelling for Vermentino) grown in chalk, clay, and limestone soils. 2015 is current release as Antoine doesn’t like to rush his rosé out the door. The texture is amazing as the wine does goes through Malolactic fermentation. It’s a beautiful copper-tinged pink. Aromatically delicate with notes of wild red berry fruit. On the palate notes of spiced ripe peach and cherry blossom fill the mouth. This pairs beautifully with sushi or a Hawaiian-style Poke Bowl

Antione Arena has put Patrimonio on the map and the wines are well regarded (as they should be) especially in Paris where Arena is considered a living legend. He’s buddy’s with some of the most influential natural winemakers in France – Catherine and Pierre Breton in the Loire, Didier Barral in the Languedoc, and the Gang of Four in the Beaujolais. Arena’s wines are thoughtfully made and considered to be of the very best Corsica has to offer – we couldn’t agree more.

Domaine de Marquiliani ‘Le Rosé de Pauline’ 2016 – $24.99/btl

The “Rosé de Pauline” is a blend of 50% Syrah, 40% Sciaccarellu, and 10% Vermentino grown in schist and granite soils. The wine is fermented in stainless steel and does not go through malo, therefore it is quite clean and bright but still beautifully textured. It’s very light in color, almost clear. Notes of cantaloupe, white raspberry, and a pretty floral component perfume the glass. The palate is silky but with ample acidity on the mid-finish with notes of ripe melon, cherry, and apricot pit. This rosé is begging to be paired with either a Marinated Feta Salad or simple Grilled Whole Fish.

The Amalric family has farmed Domaine de Marquiliani since the 1950s, nearly twenty years after the two hundred-year-old domaine was destroyed in a fire and abandoned. Marquiliani is a sustainably farmed estate. Grapes are hand-harvested and collected into small baskets; baskets are then placed in a refrigerator for several hours to keep their freshness. Domaine de Marquiliani also has olive trees on their estate and they make beautiful oils (which we carry in the market!) Their olive oil is widely regarded as the best in Corsica.