2018 Sant Armettu Mino Rouge
Region: Vin-de-Corse-Sartène < Corsica < France
Grapes: Nielluciu, Sciaccarellu
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic certified; calcareous granite soils; grapes undergo very short maceration and light punch downs; bottled unfined/unfiltered with minimal So2; 12.5% ABV
Winemaker: Gilles Seroin
Corsica is a pretty magical place -- France's national AOC regulation body even refers to Corsica as the land of 'legends and magic'. in its official docs. The fourth largest island in the Mediterranean, Corsica posses such a unique viticulture landscape, with wildly different terroir from east to west, north to south, and stylistic influence from both the Italian and French. Part of the magic is the plethora of indigenous varietals that grow here, impossible-to-pronounce grapes like Niellucie, Vermentinu and Sciaccarellu. Corsica combines a rich history of wine growing (going back 2,500 yrs), a wide variety of grape varieties (often very old vines) and a balmy Mediterranean climate, making it one of the best kept secrets in the wine world. Still a secret because very little Corsican wine makes it to our shores - its super small production to begin with, and France hogs most of the bottles.
Sant Armettu is perched in the rugged hills just inland from the coast at the tip of the island, where Paul Seroin's organic vineyards, planted in the 1960's, bask happily in the sun. Like most winegrowers on the island, Paul was happy to sell his fruit to a local cooperative until his son took an interest in winemaking. As the next generation often does, Paul's son Gilles converted all the vineyards to organic and adopted a more 'hands off' winemaking approach, resulting in wines that truly reflect the nature of Corisica -- pure, polished and a bit wild.
Which is exactly the sentiment this lovely Mino Rouge conveys - rugged, herbal, rustic and charming, just like the gorgeous island of Corsica. It smells rich and fruity and the tannins are plush, but it's light on its feet, with tart cherry, something wild and floral, and loads of savory herbs. Most of the wines from this sun-baked island also end up tasting a bit too sun baked for us. But this one is elegant and fresh, and would shine with savory, richer seafood dishes. Pair with a seafood bisque or spicy Cioppino to warm up winter.