There are no less than ten different cuvées being produced at Canarelli, mainly micro quantities, but non so sought after as this rosé which is considered to be the best rosé in France by many merchants and restaurants in France and abroad. It’s not as famous as Domaine Tempier or as ubiquitous as Domaine Ott but the little bit of wine that gets out is fought over. A blend of Sciccarellu (the heart of the sublime Marquiliani rosé), Niellucciu and Grenache direct pressed into stainless steel, this one sees about 50% malolactic to help preserve its already robust acidity and a brief settling and aging in stainless before spring bottling. The result is a super pale, fresh rosé with remarkable complexity for such an ethereal wine. Delicate strawberry and melon fruit tinged with mineral and a long clean finish. The most elegant rosé I’ll sell all year.
Corsican wines are still a bit of a novelty to even the most experienced wine drinkers but as merchants we tend to take notice when the wines are this good. There isn't much wine made on the island and very little makes it to mainland France let alone the US. Importer Kermit Lynch has been on a mission to bring in the top producers here and has put together a stellar portfolio, none so exciting as Clos Canarelli, his latest addition.
Clos Canarelli is situated near the southern tip of the island in the Corse Figari appellation, the oldest wine region in Corsica with a history of viticulture dating back to 500 BC. The weather here is perfect with sea breezes protecting the vines from mildew and the hot day/cool night cycles preserving acidity and guaranteeing ripeness. The granite bedrock and mineral rich, red alluvial topsoils are ideal for cultivation of the native Corsican varietals grown here. Owner Yves Canarelli, a former economics student turned winemaker, is an ardent traditionalist who champions a return to native varietals and traditional techniques. Farming is organic and now biodynamic. Winemaking is a blend of traditional (native yeasts, ampere aging) and modern (concrete egg tanks, whole cluster fermentation). The results are wines that are at the very top of the hierarchy of quality in Corsica.