Sant Armettu, Vin Corse Sartène "Rosumarinu"
Sant Armettu, Vin Corse Sartène "Rosumarinu"

Sant Armettu, Vin Corse Sartène "Rosumarinu"

Corsica, France 2022 (750mL)
Regular price$41.00

Sant Armettu, Vin Corse Sartène "Rosumarinu"

Halfway between the French Riviera and the Tuscan coast, the ruggedly gorgeous island of Corsica has quietly been producing world class wine, and olive oil, for centuries. The remote, insular nature of the island is what has drawn adventurous travelers for many decades, but it is also what makes a thriving export business very difficult, so most of what the people grow and produce stays right there. But that is changing. The diverse geology and varied landscapes allow the small, family farms to make wines that are truly distinct, and truly delicious, and exporters, sommeliers, and the wine press have all started to pay close attention! Sant Armettu’s brilliant little vin rouge certainly had our tasting table sitting upright and looking alive, easily stealing the spotlight from much grander and more famous bottles. If you’ve already developed a crush on Corsica, this wine will have you head over heels, and if it’s your first time then get ready for some heart-fluttering fun!

Corsican farmers grow a range of grape varieties, including well known ones like Syrah, Grenache, and Vermentino. But the passion for most estates, including Sant Armettu, are the local specialties Sciacarello and Nielluccio (a much mutated clone of Sangiovese that was likely brought over from Tuscany centuries ago). For the uninitiated these reds generally fall on the spectrum between Pinot Noir and Sangiovese, with slightly softer tannins, silky, spiced cherry fruit, and earthy minerality. Though a few domaines experiment with more powerful, structured wines with long barrel aging, the classic Corsican red is elegant, sumptuous, and surprisingly complex. The “Rosumarinu” is all that and more, which is why we love it.

Gilles Seroin’s father, Paul, and grandfather, Lucien, established Sant Armettu in the southwestern corner of Corsica, where the Martini Mountains meet the high-elevation Baracci Valley, in 1966. The estate is named after a legendary hermit monk, who was obsessed with everything that grows out of the earth, an early “plant whisperer” of sorts. Gilles has been at the helm for several decades, and is now joined by his children Jeanne and Guillaume. The distinct terroir of this region, known officially as Vin Corse Sartène, is a result of the confluence of the mountain winds, the steep, granite-laden slopes, and the close proximity to the Mediterranean sea. The warm, sunny days are moderated by the sea, and the dry, cool winds combine with relatively low rainfall amounts in August and September to relieve disease and mildew pressure. It’s a beautiful place to grow grapes, olives, and all sorts of flora, and Gilles always strives to be in lockstep with nature, just as the namesake hermit, Armettu, would want.

“Rosumarinu” is Sant Armettu’s flagship line of fruit-forward, classic Corsican table wines that aim to over-deliver for their price. The rouge is made from 100% Sciacarello, a local grape whose genetic cousins can be found in Tuscany and other parts of central Italy. Fermented and aged exclusively in steel tanks, the wine pours a brilliant, shimmering ruby with hints of blood orange at the rim. Serve this red on the cool side, around 55 degrees, in a Burgundy stem and you’ll immediately get walloped with crushed strawberries, sweet cherries, pink peppercorn, rosewater, Valencia orange, wild flowers, and saline, earthy minerals. It’s a red that is so balanced and drinkable it doesn’t even demand food, but like all great wines the right dish will elevate it to new levels of yum. I would enjoy it with everything from Thai curry to grilled sausages, but for a truly authentic evening try it with a classic Corsican chicken dish. It’s impossible to go wrong with a wine that is so easy to love, the only mistake would be not trying it at all!

Sant Armettu, Vin Corse Sartène "Rosumarinu"

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