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Clos Alivu Rose 2014
Blend: 100% Neillucio
Eric made his first vintage of Clos Alivu (’05) in the cellar of his good friend and Oletta neighbor, Yves Leccia, another Patrimonio vigneron who is regarded as a leader in Corsica’s recent crusade for higher quality. Eric is also married to a respected Patrimonio producer, Marie-Brigitte Julliard-Poli of Clos Teddi, whose rosé gives Alivu’s a serious run for the money.
Protected by the maritime influences of the Golfe de Saint-Florent, vines cultivated on the Petra Bianca soils of Patrimonio’s hillsides rarely require treatments of any kind, so Eric’s practices are essentially organic (though without certification). Niellucio, believed to be related to Sangiovese, thrives in this ideally situated inlet at the north end of the island, and when yields are limited, results in wines with more freshness and finesse than those made from its Tuscan cousin. This freshness is readily apparent in the Clos Alivu Rosé, one of the finest Corsica has to offer.
A mountainous, Mediterranean island covered in vineyards, Corsica, while closer to Italy in proximity and history, is today under France's political jurisdiction. The island is home to a mix of Italian and French grapes, typically planted at high elevations. Niellucciu (Sangiovese), Sciacarellu (Mammolo), and Vermentino (Rolle) are the main grape varieties of Corsica, and account for about two thirds of all Corsican wines produced.
Whether it’s playful and fun or savory and serious, most rosé today is not your grandmother’s White Zinfandel, though that category remains strong. Pink wine has recently become quite trendy, and this time around it’s commonly quite dry. It is produced throughout the world from a vast array of grape varieties, but the most successful sources are California, southern France (particularly Provence), and parts of Spain and Italy.
Since the pigment in red wines comes from keeping fermenting juice in contact with the grape skins for an extended period, it follows that a pink wine can be made using just a brief period of skin contact—usually just a couple of days. The resulting color will depend on the grape variety and the winemaking style, ranging from pale salmon to deep magenta. These wines are typically fresh and fruity, fermented at cool temperatures in stainless steel to preserve the primary aromas and flavors. Most rosé, with a few notable exceptions, should be drunk rather young, within a few years of the vintage.