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.