Certified Biodynamic, Integrated Farm
Variety: 100% Vermentino (Rolle)
Country, Region: France, Corsica
Appellation: Vin de France
One of the smallest allocations we receive from any producer each year of just a few cases of this 100% old-vine Vermentino cropping at just 20 hl/ha. Hand-picked and sorted in the vineyard and then again at the winery. Whole bunch pressed, settled for a day or so and then cool fermented at 18°C in stainless steel tanks. Matured on fine lees for 6 months. So mineral and detailed with acidity more akin to Loire Valley whites this wine has a distinct saltiness and savoury element that is simply incredible. Utterly fabulous.
Review for the 2011 vintage: 'What is it about pink granite, Vermentino, the ecological environment in which it grew,; and/or the talents of Jean-Charles Abbatucci that can render his 2011 Ajaccio Blanc Faustine (like its predecessors) so remarkably, simultaneously, rich and texturally beguiling yet infectiously refreshing, and saturated with saliva-inducing, scallop-like salty sweetness? Scents of oleander, fennel and thyme lead into a generously juicy matrix of pineapple and grapefruit invigoratingly imprinted with tart piquancy of core, rind, and pip as well as the bittersweet pungency of fennel seed, caraway and thyme. This long-finishing beauty is sure to fascinate and delight for at least 3-4 years, but I lack experience to hazard a prediction beyond that.' 92 points, David Schildknecht, The Wine Advocate, August 2013.
‘Remarkable for its pale yellow color with golden reflections, it is discovered in the mouth with great delicacy. This wine presents an evolution and a progressive aromatic perception. Indeed, it stands out with its dominant aniseed then white flower ending with a persistent mineral note. Fresh and aromatic, it can be enjoyed as an aperitif, with fish, shellfish or even with cheese.’ Jean-Charles Abbatucci, Winemaker.
'Collectively, Abbatucci’s wines will stretch your palate, your imagination, and even your notions about what wine is or can be. (And you’ll have fun drinking them.)' David Schildknecht, The Wine Advocate, February 2013.
'Abbatucci’s wines are out of this world.' Olivier Poussier, World’s Best Sommelier, 2000.
Domaine Comte Abbatucci extends over 100 ha of granite sandy slopes, located in the southern part of Corsica in the Taravo valley. Among the estate’s 100 hectares, there are 18 ha of vines at about 100m above sea level but you will also find fruit trees, vegetables, olive trees and sheep which have all been farmed bio-dynamically since 2000.
The estate is one of the oldest vineyard plantations in Corsica and has been chosen to study and experiment the reproduction of ancient vine varieties. The estate grows a wide range of indigenous varieties including Niellucio and Sciacarello as well as the more obscure Morescola, Morescono, Aleatico, Carcajolo Nera, Montanaccia. Life on the estate is regulated by the rhythms of the sun, moon and the planets. The grapes are said to develop in health and harmony with the assistance of traditional Corsican polyphonic music played over loudspeakers.
If it wasn’t for Antoine Abbatucci, most of the grapes now grown by his son, Jean-Charles, might well not exist. In the 1960s, local Corsican grapes were being rapidly replaced by international competitors. Antoine was charged with preserving these varieties and, using a hectare of land, created a ampelographic station and saved the fate of 18 of them.
When Jean-Charles took over in 2000, he began grafting these old varieties onto the existing vines, and then started to grow them biodynamically. Today, 14 of those varieties can be found at Domaine Abbatucci, and there are now around 18 hectares of vines, which are planted on granite slopes 100 metres above sea level. They thrive in an ecosystem in which a wide variety of flora and fauna grow beside the vines, adding to the ecological diversity, an important part of bio-dynamic viticulture. In the winter, a herd of sheep comes to the land, and there is also a herd of striped “tiger cows”. The cows are bred by Jean-Charles’s brother, Jacque, and eaten at the restaurant run their other brother, Henri. The vines are punctuated by shrubs and olive trees.
The estate produces around 1,500- 3,000 bottles of each type of wine from these old heirloom varieties, so you’ll have to hurry if you want to experience the unique qualities of grapes that were raised from the dead. Today Jean-Charles’ wines are recognised by experts all over the world as wines that preserve the very particular and original flavours of Corsican terroir.