There is no doubt in our minds that Yves Leccia is one of the finest producers on the island of Corsica, displaying incredible consistency with clean, well made wines of character, vintage after vintage. This 2014 E Croce Rouge is a blend of 90% Niellucciu and 10% Grenache that was aged for 12 months in stainless steel tanks. Niellucciu is a native Corsican varietal that is strikingly similar to Sangiovese and some believe they are the same grape. On Corsica, where it is most widely planted, it tends to produce wines with a deeper color, more tannin and higher acidity than Sangiovese and it is the perfect blending companion to Grenache, providing a nice backbone to the typically sweet red fruit character of that varietal. The nose is an intriguing mix of aromas with scents of cassis, black plum skin, white pepper, anise, tobacco and earth. The medium-bodied palate feels more savory than fruity though it does hint at plum skin flavors and dried cranberry. The finish is clean as a whistle with sappy, somewhat semi-firm tannins which are just begging for juicy, braised pork shoulder or a hearty lamb pot roast.