Vanilla may be a cringe-worthy word in the wine trade these days, bringing up bad memories from a bygone era when terms such as tar, tannin, chocolate, vanilla, oak, and bomb were often used together to sell over-the-top concoctions. But what about real-deal vanilla? We're talking cured Madagascar bourbon seed, lightly crushed, delicate and discreet. Add some white flowers, soft white fruit, a lightly bitter finish... and voilà! You’ve got classic Canarelli.
Near the remote village of Tarabucetta, outside of Figari on the southern tip of Corsica, Yves Canarelli has made quite an impact not only in Corsica, but on mainland France as well. Now it is our turn. As a former student of economics who turned to enology, Yves strikes a fascinating balance between thoughtful intellectual and ardent traditionalist. Since taking over the family domaine in 1993, he has championed the restoration of native Corsican varietals. The appellation Corse Figari lies along a plateau just inland from the coast, where grapes have been farmed since the 5th century B.C. Though Figari is regarded as the most ancient growing region of Corsica, it has still taken pioneers like Yves having the courage to rip out entire vineyards of foreign varietals before Corsican wines have finally received the recognition they deserve. While the INAO remains slow to approve bottlings of some of the oldest of these heirloom varietals, often reducing them to the inferior “Vin de France” appellation, Yves Canarelli defends the history of Figari’s terroir with passion, confidence, and conviction.
Although sparse in quantity, the granite and red alluvial soil at Clos Canarelli is nonetheless rich in minerals. The ever-constant wind from the Gulf of Figari makes for challenging growing conditions: while it serves as a terrific natural antiseptic for the vines, it can also dry the soil out easily. Yves’s choice to convert the domaine to both organic and biodynamic viticulture has made it possible for his wines to display an unusual freshness, complexity, and aromatic intensity that others in Figari have been unable to achieve. In the cellar, Yves only uses indigenous yeasts, and prefers slow, deliberate, precise fermentations, and leaves his reds unfiltered. Ever the scholar, he also enjoys experimenting with egg-shaped cement tanks (modern-day amphorae) and whole cluster fermentations. After nearly ten years of watching and tasting Yves’s evolution, KLWM is proud to announce Clos Canarelli as the most recent addition to our portfolio of the cream of the crop Corsican domaines.
A mountainous, Mediterranean island covered in vineyards, Corsica, while closer to Italy in proximity and history, is today under France's political jurisdiction. The island is home to a mix of Italian and French grapes, typically planted at high elevations. Niellucciu (Sangiovese), Sciacarellu (Mammolo), and Vermentino (Rolle) are the main grape varieties of Corsica, and account for about two thirds of all Corsican wines produced.
A fantastic, aromatic white grape that grows with great success in Sardinia, Tuscany and in lesser proportions on the island of Corsica. Somm Secret—Vermentino is thought to be genetically identical to Liguria’s Pigato grape and Peidmont’s Favorita. It comprises a large proportion of the whites in southern France where it is called Rolle.