Clos Marfisi - Patrimonio Ravagnola 2016
Organic (ECOCERT), Practicing Biodynamic
Patrimonio, Corsica, France
From the importer-
Made from 100% Niellucciu, from a younger plot of vines planted in 2004 and facing south, to take advantage of the sunny clime. This is fermented and aged entirely in stainless steel for 18 months. This is the more broad-shouldered and structured of the their two reds, but still drinks very easily.
If you aren’t familiar with Corsica, the main event is Patrimonio. This AOC covers 400ha with half of them being owned by the two largest producers, and the other half split up amongst 30 smaller growers. If you haven’t already guessed, Clos Marfisi is part of the latter. Brother and sister, Mathieu and Julie are fifth generation at the helm of this estate, having taken over from their father, Touissant, when Julie returned in 2001, and her brother in 2012, from having careers elsewhere in France.
Now, we thought that we had seen it all in terms of limestone, but Corsica takes the cake. Clos Marfisi’s vineyards (which Touissant planted about 40-50 years ago) rise up from the Mediterranean with southern and western exposures on steep slopes that are practically white with large chunks of broken up limestone. Seriously impressive. Equally impressive is the fact that they never gave into outside pressure and the entirety of the estate is planted to local varieties, so you won’t find any Grenache here. Their father is still very active in the vineyards, and is the main reason that this estate has never been touched by pesticides or herbicides, which were shunned for one reason or another by previous generations of vignerons on the island. This commitment to organics continues and the estate will be certified Bio by the 2018 vintage. Vestiges of the old guard remain in the cellar as well where native yeasts have always been used for fermentations, and sulfur levels are kept to a minimum.
As president of the Patrimonio AOC, Mathieu has a clear vision for where the estate is headed, and we like what we are seeing. Their commitment to honoring the past while shaping their own future is incredibly exciting to us.