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Corsica

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Clos Culombu: 42.577588, 8.832884

Corsica’s viticultural history can be traced back to 570BC, when Phocean traders settled on the East coast, at Aléria.  Since then, more and more vines have been planted around the island, and winemakers have discovered what each micro-terroir has to offer.  These wines are made of both indigenous and imported grapes, and many of them reflect the rough, rugged landscape of their birth.  A sense of history and tradition can be found in each glass of Corsican wine, and we are proud to have hunted down some stellar examples.


Clos Culombu

Clos Culombu was started in 1973 by Etienne Suzzoni’s brother, Paul.  Etienne took over in 1986, and in 2016 Etienne’s son Paul-Antoine started his first vintage.  Located on the northwest corner of Corsica known as the Balagne, or garden of Corsica, in the Calvi winemaking region, the 55 ha (135.9 acres) of vines are densely planted on decomposed granite and sedimentary clay.  Etienne prefers to work with indigenous grapes such as Niellucciu and Sciaccarellu, while also blending in Mediterranean ones like Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault for his reds, and Vermentinu for his whites.  He is also re-planting ancient Corsican varieties such as Riminese, Genovese, Brustianu, Biancu Gentile, Codivarta, and Cualtacciu for the whites, and Minustellu, Murescone, Aleaticu, Carcaghjolu, Vintaghju for his reds.  He is also experimenting with clay amphorae.

As with any high-quality winery, everything here is done by hand and with an exquisite attention to detail.  The vines, aged between 7 and 45 years of age, are treated both Organically and with Biodynamic compounds (the winery is looking to get Biodynamic certification soon).  Grapes are hand-harvested, and there is minimal intervention in the chai.

WINES

The Clos Culombu Corse Calvi Blanc Etienne Suzzoni is from Vermentinu, aged between 7 and 25 years, and grown in decomposed granite soils. It is hand-harvested, fermented in stainless, then left to sit on its lees for 3 months.  The wine is unfined and lightly filtered before being bottled.  It offers bright flowery pith notes on a medium frame ending in a long, slightly saline, finish.

The Clos Culombu Corse Calvi Rouge Etienne Suzzoni is a blend of 50% Nielluccio, 30% Sciaccarellu, 10% Syrah, 10% Grenache.  This bright, spicy red comes from vines that are between 7 and 25 years of age, grown on the granitic northwest coast of Corsica.  Fermented in stainless, it sits on its lees for 4-8 months (vintage dependent), before being bottled unfined, lightly filtered.  It is full of spicy red fruit and meat notes, on a medium weight structure that remains fresh as it ends in a long mineral finish.