2019 Domaine de Vaccelli Vaccelli Rouge
With the world of fine wine expanding all the time, new names continually rise to prominence and quality estates don't stay hidden for long. Domaine de Vaccelli is one such winery, deserving of their reputation as one of the most exciting projects in the market today. Bottles of Vaccelli are now quickly finding their way on to Michelin star restaurant wine lists, and into the cellars of collectors around the globe. This tiny winery based in Cognocoli-Monticchi on the island of Corsica champions local varieties Sciaccarellu (red) and Vermentinu (white), elevating each to a level of refinement seen only in the greatest wines of the world.
Initially formed in the 1960's by Roger Courrèges, the estate is now run by his grandchildren Nathalie and Gérard Courrèges. Certified organic since 2008, all vineyard work is performed by hand, while only native yeast is used during vinification which occurs in stainless steel tanks. Wines are then aged in a combination of stainless steel, barrique, 600L demi-muids and concrete eggs.
As to the style of wines, Vermentinu, or Vermentino as it's more commonly spelt, is the most important white varietal on Corsica where it excels in the wind swept sea side hills. Often fragrant and delicately fruited, Vaccelli produces examples displaying vibrant minerality with a gentle spiciness and ample racy acidity. These are complex whites that speak clearly of their island home and are notable for their supreme detail and balance.
On the red side, Sciaccarellu is the dominant variety where it thrives in the dry soils of Corsica. Known as Mammolo in its home of Tuscany, here it produces wines pale in colour yet generous in fruit and spice, with the slightly elevated alcohol balanced by fresh acidity. You'd be forgiven for thinking these were high altitude Nebbiolo such as Gattinara, and drinkers of these northern Italian reds will find much to enjoy here.
The Vaccelli Rouge is a blend of two parcels of 25+ year old Sciaccarellu vines, one exposed east-west, and the other one north-south. Flavours range from dark plum and kirsch to blood orange and mint, framed by firm, al dente tannins. Light in body yet powerful in flavour, there's more than a passing resemblance to alto Piedmont Nebbiolo here, and would charm drinkers seeking an alternative to those northern Italian reds.