Wines of the Week: two Corsicans

2011 looked like being Corsica’s year for the first time since 1769. The French entry to the Eurovision song contest was heavily tipped to win and it was to be sung in Corsican. This was a significant moment. Previously the centralising French state did their best to stamp out regional tongues. Now the beautiful Corsican language would have its moment in the sun representing France in the greatest song contest on earth. Sadly they came last or very near the bottom. I don’t know which as we got bored and went to bed before the end. Happily it’s not all doom and gloom for Corsican pride a white and a red from the island are joint wines of the week on Henry’s World of Booze.

Clos Paggiale Blanc, Skalli, Vin de Corse 2009 – like the language, Corsican wines are more Italian than French. This one is made from Vermentino and my God it’s distinctive. It’s  perfumed, full-bodied and sort-of lemony too – those fragrant lemons that you get in Sicily. My father didn’t like it and I was in two minds until  minutes after trying the taste lingered like a haunting refrain. I had to try it again and this time was bowled over.

Clos Paggiale, Skalli, Vin de Corse 2007 – This is a blend of Niellucio (or Sangiovese as it’s known in Tuscany) and Syrah. It smells spicy and tastes herby and sweet but with a completely dry finish. It reminds me a little of a very good wine from the Rhone perhaps a Chateauneuf-du-pape but it is completely its own thing.

Both these wines are about £15 depending on where you buy them. So not cheap then but less than wines of equivalent quality from the Rhone or Burgundy and much cheaper than a trip to Corsica. Viva la Corse! or whatever it is in Corsican.

About Henry

I’m a drinks writer. My day job is features editor at the Master of Malt blog. I also contribute to BBC Good Food, the Spectator and others. You can read some of my work here. I’ve done a bit of radio, given some talks and written a couple of books (Empire of Booze, The Home Bar and the forthcoming Cocktail Dictionary).
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4 Responses to Wines of the Week: two Corsicans

  1. jamieonline says:

    I take it that you’re not too keen on the Eurovision then? Haha. France didn’t do toooo badly. 15th in the end. Out of 43 it’s not a bad effort – but I too was shocked that it didn’t do well (win).
    What a funny way to arrive at your blog though. I may have to reward myself with some Corsican wine now…. 🙂

  2. Henry says:

    You have clocked my technique. The cultural references are used to lure people to the blog where they will hopefully read my wine musings.

    I do quite enjoy Eurovision in very small doses. It’s not as bad as X factor etc.


  3. Fiano says:

    Clos Paggiale, Skalli, Vin de Corse 2007 this one is one of my fav wines ever.

  4. jude says:

    hey henry, jude here – your old hodder chum from way back and fellow berkhamstedian. come follow me on twitter, i’m doing the social media for Vintage Marque wines. we’ve got some crackers – Torres, Graham’s Port, Tyrrell’s, Torbreck, Bouchard, Guigal etc. promise i’ll retweet you madly. J x

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