Jean-Charles Abbatucci’s wines are both spectacular and increasingly rare”
Kermit Lynch says, “Corsica is the most exciting wine region in France.” Think we’re going to argue with Kermit? Not likely!
Corsica’s a special place: a tiny, mountainous island with varied soils (granite, schist, limestone) and microclimates, as well as an incredible heritage of indigenous grapes that were nearly wiped out by phylloxera and industrial winemaking of foreign varieties.
But in the early 1960s, just as the industrial juggernaut was gearing up and the mountain farms emptying out, Antoine Abbatucci decided the old grapes and ways were worth saving. He planted 18 nearly-extinct varieties on 2 hectares of land in the southern, granitic Ajaccio appellation. Today, Antoine’s son, Jean-Charles, is Corsica’s super-star, a steward of the land and tradition, and one of the world’s great winemakers.
Jean-Charles propagates these varieties on his own land and gives cuttings to vignerons all over the island to advance tradition (if you’ll pardon the oxymoron). But most important, he makes some of the most thrilling wine in the world. He was an early convert to bidodynamics and his wines show the attention he pays the vines: they have pure fruit and a clear sense of where they come from, of the mineral and the island sun and breeze. In their balance, joy, and complexity you find an expression of this island that is neither entirely French, nor Italian, but very much itself.
As recently as 2013, Kermit said that “Americans haven’t really discovered Corsican wines.” But since then there have been NY Times features, Decanter articles, and even Wine Spectator pieces. America is discovering these wines right now, and they’re only going to get harder to find. But we are thrilled to be able to offer as much of the following rarities as we can!
VDF Rouge Frais, 2014, $25.99
Sciaccarellu, the pride of southern Corsica, is sometimes called “Corsican Pinot Noir.” At its best it makes wines with fresh fruit, mountain herbs, and a mineral backbone. This is the best inexpensive example: light enough to serve with a chill and a plate of pasta, but also substantial enough to go with roast meat.
VDF Gris Imperial Rosé, 2015, $27.99
Direct press of young-vine Sciaccarellu and Barbarossa (10%), fresh and fruity and perfect summer wine, with a thread of the Corsican savoriness and minerality.
“Cuvee Faustine‚” Rosé, 2015 $35.99
From lower-yielding Sciaccerellu, this is a step up from the Gris Imperial in complexity and minerality. Top, top quality rosé.
“Cuvee Faustine‚” Rouge, 2012, $39.99
Sciaccarellu with Niellucciu (a local form of Sangiovese). It’s got the Corsican wildness (KL says myrtle) with a refinement, maybe from the (30%) Niellucciu? This is a seriously delicious wine that will hook you on what Abbatucci does.
Cuvée Collection Blanc “BR,” VDF “Barbarossa,” 2013, $66.99
This is from the early-’60s plantings that saved the indigenous grape. The grape is red, but Abbatucci presses quickly, preserving the fresh white juice. A taste of fruit, sun, soil, and history.
Cuvée Collection Rouge “CN,” Carcaolu Nero, 2013, $82.99
Carcaolu Nero may make the deepest, most profound red wines of southern Corsica. Thank goodness Antoine saved it! Today Jean-Charles crushes the the fruit by foot and makes a small amount of a wine that is a key both to Corsica’s past and its future.
General de la Revolution Blanc, 2013, $94.99
If you like to compare great white wines to Burgundy, you’ll probably compare this one to Chablis. The folks at Kermit Lynch do. It’s a blend from the original plantings of Carcajolu Biancu (25%), Paga Debbiti (25%), Riminese (20%), Rossola Brandica (15%), Biancone (10%), and 5% Vermentinu.
Ministre Imperial Rouge, 2012, $109.99
Again, a blend of near-extinct indigenous grapes from the original plantings, this is incredibly rare and delicious. A blend of Sciacarellu (22%), Niellucciu, Carcajolu-Neru (15%), Montaneccia (15%), Morescono (12%), Morescola (10%), Aleatico (8%).
If would like to inquire about placing an order for Abbatucci Wines please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org