Clos Venturi's Corsican Duo: Island Wine of a Different Flavor
Corsica is home to immensely talented vignerons, incomparable terroir, and distinctive, delicious wines. So why aren’t we all drinking more Corsican wine?
The innovative Clos Venturi began in 2005, as father-and-son duo Jean-Marc and Manu Venturi partitioned off their small estate’s best vineyards and embraced strict biodynamic principles. On these 25 hectares grow trees, herbs, and vines, among which sheep, chickens, horses, and cows graze and churn up soil. It’s also responsible for incredibly fresh, elegant and joyful wines, and some of our favorite wines from this diverse island.
Clos Venturi’s paradise is on an isolated sandstone hill in Corsica’s densely wooded interior, though we’re still just 15 miles or so from the shore in a few directions. A lot of island wines we talk about come from strictly volcanic terroir (Etna, the Canaries, Santorini), whereas Corsica is blanketed by a huge range of soils, including limestone, granite, sandstone, and yes, a few pockets of volcanic. The climate is both Mediterranean and continental, and ancient sandstone hills running through the island’s center (where Venturi calls home) reach up to 2000m in elevation.
And then there are the grapes. Some are clones of Italian grapes, some are imports from mainland France, and some are uniquely Corsican. Today we’re featuring two such varieties — the white Biancu Gentile and the red Carcaghjolu Nero (pronounced car-kuh-jo-low), from Venturi’s Brama line. Each wine beautifully showcases Mediterranean flavors of ripe fruit and sea salt, while maintaining the cool freshness of their forested, high elevation origin.
It’s a treat to taste wines grown and made by someone so devoted to his terroir, especially when that terroir is so under-appreciated. Whether you’re an island wine lover or just a devotee of balanced, energetic and elegant wines of terroir, this duo is for you:
Clos Venturi, Brama - Carcaghjolu Neru, 2022 $33.99
A suave, light-bodied red with flavors of pale strawberry, red apple, brambly berries and sea salt. There’s gentle earthiness that reminds us of Beaujolais…if Beaujolais were grown in the middle of the Mediterranean, surrounded by fresh and dried herbs. There’s a great mineral finish, and the wine is fresh and lively.
Clos Venturi, Brama - Biancu Gentile, 2022 $33.99
Steely and minerally, this is a vibrant, delicately aromatic white with tons of versatility. Biancu Gentile is citrusy and bright, with Chenin-esque flavors of wildflower honey and a flash of gastronomic bitterness on the finish.
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