Dear wine lovers,
Besides being a gorgeous island, Corsica produces some very good and quite distinctive wines. Among them, one that I always enjoy is the Muscat du Cap Corse*.
This rare wine is produced in the Northern part of the island on rocky limestone and steep slopes. Muscat, which is a grape with small berries has the natural ability to produce a lot of sugar and matures very well here thanks to the warm Corsican climate. Moreover, the sun's reflection on both white rocks and the Mediterranean brings even more energy to the vine which, combined with low yields, will eventually produce a very concentrated grape.
But in order to get this big amount of residual sugars, not only do you have to harvest late (mid October) but the winemaker has to interfere, "muting" the wine at around 9% (when it is still vinifying) with the addition of pure alcohol, which will not affect the elaboration of the aroma already expressed at this point. After this operation, the alcohol level reaches about 15% right away and the finished wine still has lots of potential sugars (around 50 grams per liter) that have not being transformed into alcohol, which gives this sensation of sweetness.
It is rare to find an average Cap Corsican Muscat wine and the one I particularly like is Antoine Arena, an educated lawyer who has chosen to embrace his father’s small estate rather than leaving his native island to make money in France. His wines have a very small amount of sulfites which proves the extreme seriousness of his work. Domaine Oranga de Gaffroy, Domaine Gentile (don't miss the 360° pictures) and he enigmatic Napoleon Brizi prove that these wines have now reached the same level of notoriety as their famous native Emperor.
The wine is quite complex and will take you to various aromatic heavens : Fruits with Apricot or Mirabelle plum, white flowers like orange tree blossoms, honey and even butter** evolving to caramel. You can drink it with “Foie Gras” and dessert of course (don't forget then to marry it with fig jam) but it is definitely with strong local pasty cheeses that it will give you enough strength to climb the Volcanic island of Stromboli, like a famous Corsican saying tells.
Any comments, edits are very welcome at email@example.com
*Listen to "Muscat du Cap Corse"
**Butter = Beurre
See Muscat du Cap Corse area on a French wine map (use enlarge icon to see it better)
PS : If you plan a trip to Corsica, here is an interesting website.