208 Boylston Avenue East
This Thursday marks history for us. Even though we have been open for five years, we have never featured a lineup from this very well-respected and high-quality region: Corsica!
Corsica may be one of the most under-rated destinations in the world. It combines a dream-like set of perfect environments—the calm pace of island life, the beauty of Mediterranean coastline and stunning blue-green water, the dramatic landscape of rolling hills becoming steep, sharp mountain peaks, as well as charming hill towns, chateaus, cliffside hotels, and incredible cuisine and culture.
Corsica as a region, both in terms of its wine and history, can try one’s nerves when it comes to actual knowledge. Out of curiosity, I asked ten different people about Corsica, and most declared with confidence that Corsica was Italian. But given that it is the birthplace of Napolean, and has been under French national control since the late 1700s, it is fully-French one must conclude.
Here is a description of wine regions that is also a great symbol for the strength of diversity. Often the wine regions that are “combinations” of major cultures and styles tend to produce the most interesting wines: The Alsace (French and German), Alto-Adige (German and Italian), and Friuli (Italian and Slovenian) are great examples. Corsica is where Italy meets France, though there is no shared border.
The wine regions of Corsica are all on the edges of the island, and many of the vineyards run right down to the ocean. The mineral layers and ocean air impart a unique quality to the wines, and it is no stretch to say that mineral, salt, and exotic Mediterranean and floral notes all show in the swirled wine in the glass.
The tasting is, in essence, a trip to Corsica itself. These wines are not widely tasted in Washington, yet they are well known in the European world as rare but beloved bottles. Give the usual life a pass this Thursday: try something beautifully-crafted, a little different, and utterly romantic.
2011 Torraccia Blanc (Corsica)
This white wine nearly defies description, showing light but expressive melon and more dense tropical notes, while remaining true to the location of the vines near the sea, which brings brine, citrus, and clean mineral tones to this completely unique and very graceful wine. We are thinking oysters, oysters, oysters. OK, if you don’t eat seafood, another ideal pairing is the wonderful but difficult-to-pair vegetable asparagus. Have at it.
2010 Domaine Vico from Clos Venturi (Corsica)
A more juicy, full-bodied experience that most rosé wines you may have tried: delicious cherry, plum, and raspberry notes have distinct body and freshness, but there’s a crisp, almost salty edge to them that brings this extra dimension and fascination. Extraordinary with seafood, of course, and also divine with grilled vegetables.
2011 Domaine Vico from Clos Venturi (Corsica)
A rather rough, fun table red which has plenty of great fruit and lots of light-earthy character. Here’s the real fun: it’s a great wine, and yet just slightly “unplaceable” in terms of style and region, so it is fun to serve to guests and then talk about its origins in Corsica. A perfect pizza, pasta, or antipasto wine for sure.
2011 Clos Venturi 1769 Rouge (Corsica)
Good luck in pronouncing the grape variety here: many think the Nielluccio grape is directly related to Sangiovese. But it is probably its own thing, and this wine proves it with plenty of original character showing deep fruit, spice, herbs, and even floral notes in a symphony of wild but elegant meshing flavors. Goodness, this has to be tasted to be believed.
2010 Clos Capitoro Rouge (Corsica)
A spicy , beautiful red wine from perhaps Corsica’s oldest and most refined and directed winery. The flavor profile shows age and refinement with an engaging combination of earthy and light flavors, moving through berry, spiced plum and hints of pepper. It’s hearty wine with a bold core and a finish of finesse and detail. There is very little of this available, so we are thrilled to be showing it off.