2022 Domaine de Marquiliani, Rosé “Gris de Marquiliani” Vin de Corse, Corsica, France.
Fresh, crisp, delicious and impossibly pale in the glass, the 2022 Domaine de Marquiliani Vin Gris de Marquiliani is absolutely one of the world’s finest Rosé wines, equally appealing to the more famous Provence versions and utterly compelling and distinctive with vibrant ruby grapefruit, a whisper of sour cherry, strawberry and melon fruits, as well as mineral spice, saline and peach pit. This Rosé saw a 72 hour cold soak and the clear juice was pulled from the vat and fermented in stainless steel with no malo-lactic allowed and bottled quickly to preserve an intense thrill of freshness and crystalline focus. As this wine opens up you get hints of rosewater, earthy flint and a fine textural grace, this is as perfect as it gets and is a personal favorite of mine. The sea breezes and constant ventilation, as the winery notes, provides the perfect situation between mountains and sea, and the rocky, well-draining soils help the grapes retain their acidity and allow for a slow, even ripening on the vine. The chilled air currents from nearby Monte Renosu—one of Corsica’s highest peaks at 7,716 feet—make this one of the cooler sites on the island’s east coast. The soils in Aghione, according to the winery, are a mix of alluvial debris composed primarily of schist and granite, along with silt that has descended from the mountains over the last tens of thousands of years, all of which makes for that striking stony character and mineral intensity. For the Rosé, Vin Gris de Marquiliani, the final blend is 95% Sciaccarellu, a grape thought to have been brought here from Tuscany by the Etruscans, and 5% Syrah, which maybe adds a bit of texture and spice.
Rosé is a huge category these days and with so much mediocre stuff out there, places like Corsica are gold mines for superior examples, with Comte Abbatucci, Clos Canarelli and Domaine de Marquiliani being wines not to miss, rivaling any dry pink wine made anywhere in the world. Importer Kermit Lynch, who’s properties on Corsica are some of the islands greatest estates, says the the Amalric family has farmed Domaine de Marquiliani, located in the town of Aghione, not far from the old Roman capital of Corsica, Aleria, on the eastern coast of the island, since the 1950s, nearly twenty years after the two hundred-year-old domaine was destroyed in a fire and abandoned. The Amalrics, led by first Daniel and now Anne, bought the property and replanted the vineyards and gained notoriety for the quality of the wines. Daniel was the first to plant Niellucciu (Sangiovese) and Syrah on this side of the island. In 1995, he was joined by his daughter, Anne, an agricultural chemist who had returned from mainland France to take her place at the family farm. Initially, Anne put her energy into planting olive and almond trees, which huge success, especially with the olive oil that Kermit Lynch says is almost as outstanding as the wines here. Continuing, Lynch repeats, that Anne’s determination has not been in vain, as Domaine de Marquiliani’s olive oils, made from local olive varieties, are widely regarded as the best in Corsica and maybe beyond. Anne, after that, then turned her focus back to the vineyards, replanting much of the land to Sciaccarellu to focus the production on this brilliant Rosé, which along with Clos Cibonne and Domaine Tempier, is always a must have Summer wine.
($32 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive