2019 Terra Nostra Corse, Vin de Corse AOP, Corsica, France (750ml)

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After studying under the legendary French master oenologist, Émile Peynaud at the University of Bordeaux, Alain Mazoyer went on to achieve great things in the field of wine. The late Monsieur Peynaud would be proud to know that his pupil is indeed a very important figure in the Corsican wine industry, having run one of France's best 'caves coopératives' (wine grower co-ops): Groupe UVAL – 'Les Vignerons Corsicans' since 1975.

Officially started in the 1960s and located on the eastern coast of the island facing Italy, UVAL is now responsible for about 25% of the entire production of Corsica, with approximately 3,200 acres of vines planted across swathes of mountain foothills in the Antisanti Valley, farmed by the 60 growers who currently make up the membership. In addition to promoting local Corsican varietals Niellucciu (thought to be Sangiovese from Tuscany), Vermentinu (Vermentino) and Sciaccarellu, Alain has also spearheaded significant research to determine where best to introduce international grape varietals like Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which make up about 40% of the co-op's vineyard holdings. Alain created the Terra Nostra brand (Our Land) in 1997, and it has been the flagship label ever since. It is indicative of the independent streak that runs thickly through any Corsican—no less through its winemakers.

100% Niellucciu, the grapes for this scrumptious red were carefully harvested and then transported by refrigerated trucks to the cellar for processing. A traditional fermentation in inox thermo-regulated tanks followed, with the final blend seeing 10 months aging in stainless steel tank before bottling.

Lovely deep garnet color. On the nose, aromas of dried red fruits, violets with a hint of fennel and a subtle, volcanic earthiness. The medium-bodied palate shows cranberry, red plum and garrigue, with silky smooth tannins on the long, dusty mineral-laced finish. We wish we could enjoy it while dining al fresco on that beautiful island!

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