2017 Domaine Gentile Corse Rosé
Region: Patrimonio < Corsica < France
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Ecocert certified organic farming with biodynamic practices; clay/limestone soils; maceration in in rotary tank / saignée after 12 hours maceration / then stainless steel tank for 4-8 months; unfined, filtered manually (cross-flow, no additives); minimal added SO2 at bottling only; 13% ABV
Winemaker: Jean-Paul Gentile
Corsica is stunning (a whole other story, on the blog soon), but I was blown away by the great lengths producers go to make wine in this mountainous, rocky and dry island region that is challenging to work and even traverse (it is something like 80% wild national park!) As a result, they make very little, and seem to drink it all on the island. But we ventured to the Patrimonio region to visit Jean-Paul Gentile, one of the island’s few organic/bioD producers that is actually exported to the US, at his cellar this summer. Seeking a deeper standard than is required of organic certification, Jean-Paul now works in biodynamic territory, even avoiding the use of copper. Instead he relies on a cocktail of orange zest, horsetail and clay to dry the vine’s leaves, controlling rot and mildew at the source rather than trying to kill off the mold and other harmful microbes that result. This is one of the key tenets of biodynamics: treating the root problem not the symptoms. As we were tasting through all of his wines and falling in love with his deep pink rosé, Jean-Paul explained that this is the natural color of his quickly pressed-off rosé from a thick-skinned grape like Nielluciu. And then he blew our minds by demonstrating the sneaky trick so many industrial rosé wines employ to get that popular salmon-colored “Provençal pink” – he added a faint drop of So2 and voilá, the wine instantly turned light coppery pink! Super gross. The moral of the story: do not fear the brighter pink wines, the color is no indication of dense fruit or sweetness! In fact, this pretty baby is savory and tart with a salty edge, like fresh watermelon juice with a shot of lime. We loved it so much that at least 6 bottles were harmed over the course of 4 days...