Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Clos Canarelli's Vin de France From Corsica

Clos Canerelli is a small domaine in the Corsican village of Figari in the southern tip of the island. Production in the dry, poor granite, red alluvial soils at Clos Canarelli is sparse. The weather is harsh, with the constant wind from the Gulf of Figari drying out the soil quickly, though the dry conditions also serve as a natural antiseptic, protecting the vines from diseases such as phylloxera.

Yves Canarelli converted the vineyards to both organic and biodynamic farming, making it possible for his wines to display an unusual freshness, complexity, and aromatic intensity that others in Figari have been unable to achieve. In the cellar, Yves only uses indigenous yeasts, and prefers slow, deliberate, precise fermentations, and leaves his reds unfiltered. Like other natural-wine proponents he also experiments with egg-shaped cement tanks (modern-day amphorae) and whole cluster fermentations.

Yves Canarelli has also championed the planting of old Corsican indigenous varietals. He ripped out entire vineyards of foreign varieties in favor of heirloom Corsican grapes. And in some cases, he has preserved ancient vines of indigenous varieties still planted in his vineyard. However, many of these heirloom varieties are so old that France's appellation system no longer recognize them. Yet, Canarelli has persisted to produce tiny quantities from vines of Carcaghjolu Neru, Sciaccarellu, and Minustellu.

Yves Canarelli defends Corsican terroir and native grapes by classifying its two best wines Vin de France! Both are not easy to find, even in Corsica, as production is tiny. The wines are categorized simply "Vin de France" because both don't conform to the INAO requirement for approved varieties, yet nothing could be more native to Corsica than the heirloom grapes used for these wines. Thus, Canarelli is prevented from printing the vintage on the label. Our current stock are both 2009, and the "L09" code is printed on the label.

Vin de France "CN", Clos Canarelli (2009)

Vin de France "Tarra d'Orasi", Clos Canarealli (2009)

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