A wine for wine lovers: that's the only kind of wine Muriel Giudicelli wants to make.You might think all winemakers would feel that way. But Muriel is one of the few Corsican winemakers (her neighbor Yves Leccia and mentor Antoine Arena are others) who is not satisfied cranking out simple plonk to satiate the sun-chasing tourists who glug down most of Corsica’s wine.There is no shame in making the wines the tourists want, of course. Farming and winemaking are hard work, and tiny Corsica, long a pawn to the surrounding great powers, has struggled to maintain its identity, find stability, create jobs, and staunch the flow of mass migration. Tourism was an economic blessing -- so what if it dictated the direction of the wine market?Well, there was also a culture, a culinary and vinous tradition to preserve. Muriel, like Antoine Arena before her, came home to the island to change things. She wasn’t born into winemaking. She first learned at university and then spent years honing her more ecologically-minded ethos at small domaines across France. It wasn’t until 1997 that she and her husband finally found a vineyard to purchase in Patrimonio. Now was her chance to shine.The potential for quality was obvious. This corner of Corsica is famous for its Niellucciu, a biotype of Sangiovese well adapted to the soil and climate after centuries. And her prized soils are a diverse mix with pockets of green clay, red clay, granite, schist, and especially limestone.Muriel’s vines are bush trained, well-suited to the hot Mediterranean summers and ensuring low yields. She works them by hand and, from the beginning, organically. She was certified biodynamic in 2012.Niellucciu/Sangioves in Corsica's rugged environment can be wild, even rustic. Taming the grapes took hard work and plenty of innovation, patience and a light touch. She sorts rigorously and de-stems to minimize harsh tannins. The wines age for up to 18 months in large, old foudre, allowing the fruit and structure to coalesce without the intrusion of new wood.Muriel’s masterpieces are elegant and aromatic. They age like great, old-school Chianti (there’s that Sangiovese thread!) with an undercurrent of Corsican defiance. It’s a classic with an edge, something any lover of wine will appreciate.
What importer Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant has to say about this wine...