From: Ile de Beaute, Corsica
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Taste: In the glass, the wine is a vibrant and alluring ruby red color, with a medium level of opacity that allows just enough light to shine through. The aromas are pronounced and complex, with an immediate burst of red fruit that includes cherry, raspberry, and cranberry, as well as a subtle hint of spice, such as cinnamon and clove. There's also a faint herbal note that adds an interesting dimension to the aroma profile, giving it a distinctly Mediterranean character that is unique to this wine.
On the palate, the 2019 Francois Labet Ile de Beaute Pinot Noir is light to medium-bodied and offers a bright and refreshing mouthfeel. The red fruit flavors are again at the forefront, with cherry and raspberry being the most dominant, along with a subtle earthy quality that is characteristic of Pinot Noir. The wine is well-structured and balanced, with lively acidity that keeps the fruit flavors in check and a moderate level of tannins that provide a pleasant grip on the palate. As the wine opens up in the glass, the subtle hints of spice and herbs become more prominent, adding complexity and depth to the flavor profile. The finish is long and satisfying, with the fruit flavors slowly fading away and leaving a subtle hint of earthy, mineral notes behind. The wine is refreshing and versatile, with enough acidity and structure to pair well with a wide range of foods, from roasted meats and game to grilled vegetables and cheeses.
Pairing: This engaging island Pinot Noir pairs well with a range of Mediterranean and regional dishes, as well as vegetarian options. The wine's bright acidity and subtle earthy and herbal notes make it a versatile pairing for a variety of flavors and textures. Here’s a list of more specific pairings for food + wine inspiration!
Roast Pork Tenderloin: The delicate fruit flavors and subtle earthy notes of the Pinot Noir make it an excellent pairing for roast pork tenderloin. The lean meat of the pork pairs well with the wine's refreshing acidity, and the earthy notes of the wine complement the savory flavors of the pork.
Grilled Eggplant: The subtle herbal notes and bright acidity of the wine make it a great match for grilled eggplant. The smoky flavor of the grilled eggplant is complemented by the wine's subtle spice notes, while the acidity helps to cut through the richness of the eggplant. With that in mind, we’re sharing Mark Bittman’s recipe for a Layered Vegetable Torte below!
Mediterranean Vegetarian Pizza: A vegetarian pizza with toppings like roasted red peppers, olives, and feta cheese is a great pairing for the 2019 Francois Labet Ile de Beaute, Corsican Pinot Noir. The bright acidity of the wine helps to balance the saltiness of the cheese and olives, while the fruit flavors of the wine complement the sweetness of the roasted red peppers.
Lamb Gyros: The spiciness and herbaceousness of the gyro's toppings would complement the subtle spice and herbal notes of the wine, while the refreshing acidity of the wine would balance the richness of the lamb.
Ratatouille: The classic Mediterranean dish of ratatouille, made with roasted vegetables like eggplant, zucchini, and tomatoes, is an excellent pairing for the 2019 Francois Labet Ile de Beaute, Corsican Pinot Noir. The bright acidity and subtle spice notes of the wine help to complement the flavors of the roasted vegetables, while the earthy notes of the wine complement the sweetness of the tomatoes.
Layered Vegetable Torte
By Mark Bittman
About. The 2019 Francois Labet Ile de Beaute Pinot Noir from Corsica is a unique and exciting wine that offers a taste of the island's terroir and the winery's expertise. This wine is a great example of the possibilities of winemaking in Corsica, an island that has been producing wine for thousands of years.
Corsica, a mountainous island in the Mediterranean Sea, has a long history of winemaking dating back to the Greeks and Romans. In recent years, the region has experienced a resurgence in winemaking, with a focus on high-quality, artisanal production. The 2019 vintage in Corsica was characterized by a hot and dry summer,
which resulted in small, concentrated berries with intense flavors.
Produced by François Labet (of Clos de Vougeot's Chateau de la Tour), this vibrant, versatile Mediterranean "Burgundy" oozes personality and value. The background story is that Labet has a holiday house in Corsica and over the years he had fallen in love with the region's rocky, high-altitude terroir. He had also recognized that there was a possibility that Pinot Noir could work in some of the more elevated sites on the island.
The inspiration for making wine in Corsica came from the island's rugged terrain and unique microclimates. The island is known for its diverse soils, ranging from limestone to granite, and its high elevations, which provide a range of temperatures and microclimates. Francois Labet saw the potential for Pinot Noir to thrive in this environment and set out to make a wine that would capture the essence of the island.
The conditions on the island for Pinot Noir are challenging, but the results can be extraordinary. The high elevations and cool ocean breezes provide the ideal conditions for slow ripening, resulting in complex and nuanced flavors. The Francois Labet Ile de Beaute Pinot Noir is a prime example of this, with aromas of dark berries, cherries, and spice, complemented by a full and robust body and a smooth finish.
So, when the opportunity arose to work with a local vigneron and friend to produce a Corsican Pinot, he didn't hesitate.
The vineyard is located on the east coast of Corsica's Haute-Corse department at 400m altitude, above the town of Ghisonaccia. Unlike his Burgundies, François Labet fully destems the fruit for this wine and then ages it in tank and one-third French oak before bottling. Labet's talent with Pinot is clearly on show here. He has crafted a fabulous value wine that is both gluggable and engaging, both classically Pinot and at the same time offering a twist of something clearly Mediterranean. Its personality is equal parts French Pinot Noir (dark cherry, inky, floral), Mediterranean (spicy, earthy) and even Alpine (refreshing, tangy and medium bodied). But best to try it yourself; it should be bags of fun to play with.
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