I love the island of Corsica but it is much easier to taste the wines in Paris. Travelling there, usually involves changing planes in Nice or Marseilles. And I was delighted to find Yves Leccia’s wines available for tasting at the Salon. Along with Antoine Arena, he is one of the stars of Patrimonio, the appellation in the northern part of the island, where they produce delicious Vermentino and Nielluccio.
I first met Yves Leccia back in the mid-80s when he made pretty classic wines in a tiny cellar in the village of Poggio d’Oletta. Then a more spacious cellar was built just outside the town of Patrimonio, but then he separated his vines from those of his sister in time for the 2004 vintage. And since then his wines have become more original and satisfying. As far as I know, none of his wines see any oak and they are all the better for that. E Croce is the name of his vineyard, as well as the estate.
2008 Cuvée YL blanc, Vin de Pays de l’Ile de Beauté - 12.00€
A blend of Ugni Blanc with 20% Vermentino, aged in vat. This is beautifully textured, with satisfying mouth feel and body, and very good acidity, which is a characteristic of Ugni Blanc. Ugni Blanc is usually rather short on character, but the Vermentino adds some interest and this is beautifully balanced with some delicate fruit.
2008 Patrimonio Blanc – 16.50€
Like all white Patrimonio, this is a pure Vermentino. It is more rounded, with more depth of flavour than the Cuvée YL. There is more structure and body, with layers of flavour and an elegant finish. The fruit is understated, but satisfying.
2008 Patrimonio rosé – 9.50€
Pure Nielluccio. This is the grape variety of Patrimonio, and is related to Sangiovese. On a fine day the Tuscan coast is clearly visible from Corsica. Orange pink in colour, with a delicate nose. Good fruit on the palate, with good texture and a rounded finish. A food rosé.
2008 Cuvée YL – 12€
A blend of 80% Grenache Noir and 20% Nielluccio, so Vin de Pays de l’Ile de Beauté, rather than appellation Patrimonio. Medium colour. Quite a rounded, ripe nose, with some appealing spice on both nose and palate. Medium weight with good fruit and an elegant finish.
2007 Patrimonio Rouge – 14.00€
This is pure Nielluccio, aged in vat. Medium colour. A nicely structured palate, with some firm but supple tannins and good fruit. Layers of flavour, but an elegant mouth feel. Very finely crafted. A treat to taste.
Yves also makes the dessert wine of Corsica, Muscat de Cap Corse, which overlaps with the appellation of Patrimonio, but sadly there was none to taste in Paris.