2018 Domaine Comte Abbatucci, Cuvée Faustino Rosé, Vin de France, Ajaccio, Corsica, France.
The Domaine Comte Abbatucci is one of Corsica’s most noble estates and with a long history of quality wines on this forbidding and fiercely independent Island, it is run by the charismatic Jean-Charles Abbatucci, a direct descendant of the General Charles Abbatucci, who’s image graces some of the higher end labels, from Ajaccio, who was a hero of the French Revolution and comrade in arms of another local hero, Napoléon Bonaparte. According to Abbatucci’s famous importer Kermit Lynch, the estate’s vines come from cuttings of indigenous grapes, sourced decades ago high up in the isolated and mountainous interior of the island from elderly peasant farmers, effectively saving several native varieties from extinction and preserving ancient winemaking traditions against the tide of international style wines. The beautiful wines from this Domaine are all biodynamic and have been certified since 2000 and while known for their reds, the winery also makes a series a wonderful whites, sparkling and this lovely and deeply flavored dry Cuvée Faustino Rosé, which was crafted from 90% Sciaccarellu and 10% Barbarossa grapes that were grown on the region’s granite soils. Ajaccio, the capital of Corsica, on the south western side of the island, you will see the name Abbatucci as there are streets, monuments and plazas that are dedicated to General Jean-Charles Abbatucci, it’s a historic respect to carries on today in this prideful place.
This 2018 Faustino Rosé is briskly focused and crisp with layers of dusty raspberry, pink citrus, sour cherry and strawberry fruits along with wet stone, mouth watering saline, mineral tones and a light spicy zest. While an all stainless steel fermented Rosé, there is a sense of fullness on the palate and depth gaining weight with air and adding floral notes and a element of earthiness as well, it is a wine that compares well with some of the top Cotes de Provence and Bandol bottlings. The vines average 20 years old, so they have concentration and complexity that transmits into the finished wine and make this Cuvée Faustino Rosé a joyous offering with meals, it has substance and pairs with array of cuisine options, though of course, it shines with Corsica’s rustic dishes and or sea food stews. There is a lot to admire here and whether or not you enjoy this stuff with food or just have it with an Indian Summer sunset, it handles the occasion with poise and authentic ease. Lynch adds, this organic estate just south of Ajaccio, keeps a pristine poly-culture ecosystem in place, complete with herds of sheep foraging through his vines, groves of olive trees on ancient terraces, and large swaths of untouched forests, with an eccentric edge, Abbatucci even plays traditional Corsican polyphonic songs over loudspeakers for the benefit of his vines! I love these wines and in particular this pink one, like Clos Cibonne, it never fails to impress, be sure not to miss it.
($38 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive