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Thursday 10 March 2022

On the right Corse: a brilliant wine discovery

We don't drink a lot of wine from Corsica - the beautiful island - in Australia. Most of us probably could not locate it on a map.

Yesterday, at a Red+White and Mezzanine trade tasting in Hobart, I discovered two elegant and minerally food-friendly wines from Corsica that should be on every serious vinophile's radar.

Meet the Fiumeseccu range from Domaine Alzipratu - a discovery of European wine guru Sally McGill and available in Australia for the first time.

The wines are made by Pierre Aquaviva and his family and comprise a Blanc - made entirely from vermentinu (also known as rolle, or vermentino) - and a Rouge (made from indigenous grapes sciaccarelli and nielluccio, a close relative of sangiovese, along with some shiraz and grenache).

Both are revelation in terms of interesting flavour profiles and textural palate interest. At around $40, they have been quickly snapped up by wine buyers in the know.

Situated 8km from Calvi in the north-west of the island, the domaine was created in the 1960s by Baron Henry Louis de La Grange, owner of the Convent of Alzipratu.

The domaine was run by Maurice Acquaviva before being taken over by his son Pierre and his wife Cécilia. Pierre's son Marc Andria is also part of the team.

The 40-hectare vineyard is planted primarily with traditional Corsican varietals.

The vines lie at the foothills of Monte Grossu (the peak of which is 1950 metres above sea level) and just a few minutes from the coastline, which results in highly contrasted climatic influences thanks to the proximity to both the sea and the mountains.

The wines will be certified organic starting from vintage 2021 - the wines of which should land in Australia soon.

The 2020 white has wildflower aromas with green apple and almond notes (and lot of length) on the very fresh palate, which has been lifted by lees aging; while the perfumed 2020 red blend has definite notes of macerated dark cherry and hints of spice, along with a serious tannin structure that hints at cellarability.

For those not sure about Corsica, the island lies 170km south-east of mainland France and 11km north of the island of Sardinia. It is a territory of France, but many of the region's winemaking traditions and grape varieties are Italian in origin.

Not many Corsican wines even make it to France, but those that do are often labelled Vin de Pays de l'Île de Beauté (country wines from the beautiful isle).

For info visit

# Declaration: The writer's wife is employed by Red+White Wines

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