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23 April 2012

Corsica: Domaine de Granajolo, Porto-Vecchio

Looking at this post scribbled back in 2007, when I first/last tasted Granajolo's wines, I was obviously a little disappointed, in them and Corsica as a whole. I had the chance to catch up with owner / winegrower Gwenaele Boucher a couple of months ago at this year's Millésime Bio organic wine show in Montpellier - meaning their vineyards are, since 1987 officially although ma and pa Monika and André worked their 20 hectares in this way from the start apparently - and tried the latest vintages from her range. And the verdict this time? Quite the opposite: I was very keen on four out of five; I didn't go for their supposedly top red "Le J", which was over-oaked and lacking in charm unlike the other wines.
Originally, like many simple grape growers at that time, Gwenaele's parents were members of a co-op, followed by an interim stint where someone else made the wines; and it wasn't until after she took over the estate that they built their own cellar, in operation since 2003. Their vineyards are found on the stark granite hillsides lying around Sainte-Lucie de Porto-Vecchio in the southeastern corner of the island (if it really has a southeast corner: look on a map and you'll see what I mean...). Anyway, it's certainly a very beautiful corner of a must-visit island if you haven't been before. These wine-lands are mostly planted with local varieties Niellucciu (related to Sangiovese), Sciaccarellu and Vermentinu (aka Vermentino, Rolle [probably] or Malvoisie de Corse, which is supposedly related to Malvasia but not to what the French otherwise call Malvoisie; clicking on the latter variety name on Wikipedia actually redirects you to Pinot Gris! I think I'll stop there as it's getting very confusing...)

All from the Corse-Porto-Vecchio appellation:
2011 tradition white (Vermentino) - juicy banana-scented fruit, concentrated vs crisp palate with aromatic fruit and rounded texture; very nice dry white.
2011 tradition rosé (Sciaccarellu) - lovely juicy fruit and mouth-feel with elegant touches, tasty quaffing rosé yet serious enough to go with a variety of foods. Good stuff.
2009 tradition red (Niellucciu) - quite browny-red in colour and mature showing delicious liquorice vs savoury notes, very ripe with 'tar' like tones too vs wild herb edges; enticing 'sweet/savoury' combo to finish, lovely style and drinking well now. Very good.
2009 Monika red (Niellucciu + Syrah) - again has its attractive ripe and aromatic 'garrigue' side with smoky notes, soft tasty palate with dry grip vs rounded texture; nice stylish Med red.
2009 Le J red (Niellucciu + Syrah) - a little vanilla and sweet coconut heavy and the tannins are quite wood-grainy.

More organic Corsican wines and people to follow...

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Header image: Château de Flandry, Limoux, Languedoc. Background: Vineyard near Terrats in Les Aspres, Roussillon.