From: Corse, Corsica
Taste: On the nose, the wine captivates with its complex bouquet of fragrant violets, ripe red cherries, and blackberries, intertwined with subtle hints of wild herbs, black pepper, and a touch of Mediterranean maquis. The first sip reveals a harmonious balance of bright acidity and well-integrated tannins, supporting a medium-bodied, velvety texture. The palate echoes the nose with an abundance of red and dark fruit flavors, accented by earthy undertones, savory spices, and a minerality that speaks to the wine's Corsican origin. The finish is persistent and elegant, leaving a lingering impression of fruit, spice, and terroir.
Pairing: This versatile wine complements a wide range of dishes, thanks to its balanced acidity, well-rounded tannins, and expressive fruit character. It pairs well with hearty pasta dishes, such as a rich tomato-based pasta or mushroom stroganoff, as well as risottos with earthy flavors, like a porcini mushroom risotto. The wine's vibrant fruit and savory notes also complement grilled or roasted red meats, game birds, and aged cheeses like Pecorino or Comté.
Regional Pairings: The 2021 Clos Fornelli Rouge 100% Niellucciu finds its perfect culinary match in traditional Corsican cuisine. Pair it with a flavorful Corsican wild boar stew, or "civet de sanglier," and let the wine's fruit and spice notes shine alongside the rich, gamey flavors of the dish. Another excellent choice would be a Corsican "stufatu," a slow-cooked beef and vegetable stew (or check out the recipe below, inspired by the Corsican love of stews), where the wine's acidity would help to cut through the richness.
Vegetarian Pairings: For a vegetarian pairing, consider a hearty eggplant parmigiana, where the wine's acidity and tannins will contrast the rich, cheesy dish, while the earthy flavors will complement the eggplant. A mushroom and spinach-stuffed cannelloni with a béchamel sauce would also make a delicious pairing, as the wine's acidity and tannins will balance the creaminess of the sauce, and its earthy notes will enhance the umami flavors of the mushrooms. Additionally, a Moroccan vegetable tagine with chickpeas, tomatoes, and a variety of warm spices will harmonize with the wine's fruity and spicy profile.
Hearty Beef Stew With Red Onions and Ale
By Melissa Clark
About. Corsica, the stunning Mediterranean island, has long been a hidden gem in the wine world. Its unique terroir and diverse grape varieties offer a treasure trove of delights for oenophiles. One such treasure is the 2021 Clos Fornelli Rouge, crafted from 100% Niellucciu grapes. This enchanting wine beautifully captures the spirit of the island and offers an exciting and unforgettable experience for those who explore it.
Nestled on the eastern edge of Corsica, overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, Clos Fornelli is an organically-farmed property that spans 45 hectares, with 18 hectares dedicated to vineyards. Owned by Josée Vanucci and her husband, Fabrice Couloumère, the estate is committed to producing low-intervention, high-pleasure wines that showcase the distinctive characteristics of the grapes and the terroir.
The 2021 Clos Fornelli Rouge is made from Niellucciu, a grape variety native to Corsica and also known as Sangiovese in Italy. This versatile grape is prized for its ability to produce fruity, full-bodied wines with exceptional aging potential. The vineyards of Clos Fornelli benefit from the unique microclimate of the region, with Mediterranean sun during the day and cooler air from the sea and nearby Castagniccia mountains at night. This combination allows the grapes to retain freshness and aromatic complexity.
The estate's vineyards are meticulously farmed, with practices designed to keep yields low and grapes ripe. Their soil, composed of ancient alluvium and pebbles, is not very fertile but deep, providing optimal water management essential for the dry Corsican climate. The vines' average age is 25 years, with the oldest reaching 35 years, making them well-established and thriving in their Mediterranean microclimate.
The winemaking process at Clos Fornelli is gravity-fed, with fermentations carried out naturally and only minimal sulfur additions. The 2021 Clos Fornelli Rouge is aged in concrete vats for 6 to 12 months, with regular stirring, resulting in a wine that is vibrant, unpretentious, and full of charm.
Tasting notes for the 2021 Clos Fornelli Rouge reveal a beautiful purple color and a nose redolent of the Corsican maquis, with notes of violets, red fruits, and spices. The palate is round and spicy, offering a medium body, balanced acidity, and tannins. This versatile wine pairs well with pasta, risotto, red meat, game birds, and aged cheeses, making it a delightful addition to any meal.
In conclusion, the 2021 Clos Fornelli Rouge Niellucciu is a captivating expression of Corsica's unique terroir and the skillful winemaking of Josée Vanucci and Fabrice Couloumère. This wine is a testament to the beauty and potential of Corsican wines, which continue to enchant wine lovers worldwide. Don't miss the chance to discover this remarkable offering from the island of beauty.
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