View from Clos Marfisi vineyards (Photo: Tim Gagnon)

Two Delicious Corsican Wines!

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We'll keep today's offer short and sweet: here are two delicious Corsican reds! As we slowly repopulate our shelves and make sure the obscure grapes and regions of the wine world are represented again at Chambers Street, it seemed only right to put some Corsican wines on the shelf (to be fair, Corsica is not really that obscure, but it is often forgotten when people reflect on their favorite European wines). We never forgot that we loved the distinct wines from this island, but we weren't offering much by way of Corsican wine for the last several months. That all ends now, as we promise to expand, bring in some tasty Vermentinos, for example, and re-introduce our readers to the joys of Corsican wine.

Today we focus on two reds, one an incredible value from Domaine Maestracci in the Corse Calvi appellation, by way of esteemed importer Kermit Lynch, who unarguably put Corsican wines on the map in the US before anyone was paying attention to the island or its wines. The other is a small production blend from Clos Marfisi in the Patrimonio region, north-east of Corse Calvi. Both are ideal for the coming months, light on their feet, balanced and savory. In many ways, they are the perfect reds to welcome the Spring!

Camille-Anais Raoust with her father

Domaine Maestracci was started in the late 1940s by Roger Maestracci, who took over a plot of land on a granite plateau below Monte Grossu mountain. Now run by his granddaughter, Camille-Anaïs Raoust, the winery is certified organic and Biodynamic (Demeter). The area is perfectly situated for vines and olives (in fact the winery was formerly a olive oil operation before Maestracci took it over), with the local hot weather balanced by the high altitude and cool nights, with the influence of the Mediterranean Sea. Though their 'E Prove' red shows more rusticity, earth, and wood notes, their 'Clos Reginu' bottling, from younger vines, is lithe, beautiful and in the 2021 vintage, vibrant and bursting with energy. We tasted it recently and couldn't wait to bring some in to the shop.

Julie and Mathieu Marfisi of Clos Marfisi are the 5th generation to work the collective 15 hectares of Niellucciu, Vermentinu, and Muscat Blanc à Petite Grains, along with several obscure local grape varieties. Their vines are planted on steep slopes overlooking the Mediterreanean in blocky, limestone-rich soils. The estate has farmed organically for a few generations and were certified for the 2018 vintage. In the cellar they work with native yeasts, minimal sulfur, and vinify mostly in stainless steel. Their 2022 'Uva Rouge' bottling is a blend of Carcaghjolu Neru, Minustellu, and Nielluciu (Sangiovese) that we tasted in France this winter with Julie and Mathieu and were delighted to discover is in stock in New York! 

Both of these reds are very food-friendly, while also completely enjoyable on their own. Clos Reginu is in stock today and ready for delivery or shipment, while the Uva Rouge arrives tomorrow. Cheers!

-EL

Domaine Maestracci 2021 Corse Calvi Clos Reginu

Domaine Maestracci makes some of the best value wines in Corsica, a region where increased exposure and tariffs has driven up prices tremendously in recent years. They are located in Calvi, with vines planted in on the foothills of a mountain range that rises 1500 meters above the Mediterranean. The estate is Demeter-certified biodynamic and makes vibrant earthy wines. Clos Reginu is made from their youngest vines, an assemblage of Grenache, Niellucio with smaller percentages of Sciaccarellu, Syrah and Mourvedre. The 2021 shows some of the dried garrigue notes of the island's own varieties, but is overall effortlessly fresh and elegant from this cooler, brighter vintage. It drinks almost like a Pinot, while delivering savory flavors and a Mediterranean profile. Highly recommended!

  • red
  • 29 in stock
  • $17.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Clos Marfisi 2022 Vin de France UVA Rouge

We loved the interplay of dark, earthy flavors, with vibrant acidity and lift when we tasted with Julie and Mathieu Marfisi in early February, and it was top on my list for Corsican wines I wanted to track down when I returned to New York from the winter wine fairs in France. As luck would have it, the 2022 that we tasted was in stock! A beautiful introduction to the wines of Clos Marfisi, an immediately accessible light/medium red that also speaks of the unique Corsican varieties.  -EL  // Technical notes from importer: Carcaghjolu Neru (25%), Minustellu (25%) and Niellucciu (50%). 5-20 year-old vines trained in Goblet style. West-facing slopes looking out over the ocean, soils are silt and clay on limestone. Carcaghjolu Neru: 15-day maceration half destemmed half whole cluster with light daily pump-overs. Minustellu: same 2 week maceration but all destemmed. Niellucciu: direct press and vinified like a rose before blending with the other two. After blending, aged one year in tank.

  • red
  • 9 in stock
  • $36.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur