2019 Domaine Giacometti, Patrimonio Rouge, Cuvée Sarah, Corsica, France.
Christian Giacometti’s wines are getting better and better with each vintage I try and this 2019 Patrimonio Cuvée is another fantastic effort from this domaine with rounded supple tannins and exciting dark berry fruits, mineral tones, pretty floral aromatics and a mix of spice and savory dryness. The palate is just about full, showing black raspberry, plum and black cherry and strawberry fruits, along with brambly and briar laced accents, including a hint of earth, tobacco, anise and subtle cedary wood. This dark ruby/garnet wine is a blend of 90% Niellucciu, 7% Sciaccarellu and 3% Grenache, grown on clay and granite soils, which is wonderfully fresh and textural in the mouth and fills out more completely when enjoyed with a meal, especially simple winter stews and grilled meats, as well as being terrific with hard cheeses. Kermit Lynch, the famed Berkeley importer, has really invested time and attention to these Corsican wines with many gems in his collection and Giacometti is one of the most authentic and offering good value for the money. After spending years of constant and heroic labor to make wine in an inhospitable land, as Kermit notes, Christian and now his daughter Sarah and son Simon have continue to produce unique and eminently drinkable Patrimonio, like this one. While mostly working with Niellucciu, Corsican island Sangiovese, Giacometti are experimenting with Sciaccarellu, another Tuscan grape, which is also known as Mammolo, with expanded plantings (extremely rare for Patrimonio) now featuring in their wines, along with Grenache, which adds to fruit density and body in the wines.
The Giacometti Patrimonio Rouge “Cuvée Sarah” is named for Christian’s daughter and is sourced from mature, 45 year old vines that are all hand tended using organic farming and holistic methods in the vineyard and is fermented with 100% natural indigenous yeasts with all the grapes being de-stemmed and saw a gentle maceration period. While most of the Giacometti see some stainless steel aging, this one does not, it was aged in very old French oak barriques for 12 months before bottling, making it one of the most serious and age worthy wines made here at Giacometti, and this 2019 is exceptional stuff and totally alluring in the glass. While Giacometti is focused mainly on the reds, they also do a fine set of Vermentino wines, along with a tasty Rosé, which adds a nice range to the collection. When I first discovered Giacometti I also really enjoyed their special island rarity 100% Syrah Vin de France Rouge “Sempre Cuntentu” before exploring their full lineup of AOC Patrimonio offerings. I really love all of the wines and wineries in Kermit Lynch’s excellent portfolio, these are world class efforts that go way beyond the expectations, I recommend sampling all of them, especially Clos Canarelli, Yves Leccia and Domaine Comte Abbatucci, which are highly coveted producers, as well as Giacometti, which is more of a sleeper in this high quality set. To get started, I suggest getting a selection of the easy to drink Faustine bottlings from Domaine Comte Abbatucci as well as Giacometti’s Agriate cuvées, which are great values and impeccably made wines, along with the exotic amphora raised Clos Canarelli Corse Figari bottlings. Each of these three are on distinct soils and have their own terroirs, making them very individual wines.
($40 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive