We were blown away by this Corsican vermentinu (vermentino) from the Patrimonio AOC at the base of Cap Corse (the land mass digit pointing to Genoa). Extremely elegant with great precision and lift, while presenting a refined saline minerality on the lengthy tappered finish. Extremely limited and yes, more expensive, but not really when one appreciates what Muriel Giudicelli has accomplished in the vineyard as translated in this bottle. One of the best white wine discoveries we have made since Thomas Pico’s Pattes Loup Chablis became available to us.
Fabulous with briny, fresh shucked shellfish. But certainly a cerebral wine one can enjoy on its own accord, with the promise to slow you down to sips, and make you “think” about it. Please note – extremely limited and rarely found in our local retail market or restaurants. Regardless, if you do find it anywhere, then by all means do not hesitate to purchase.
Below are notes from Berkeley importer Kermit Lynch.
• Between 1997 and 2012, vineyards were farmed organically
• In 2012, the domaine obtained biodynamic certification
• All vineyards are pruned goblet
• All grapes are harvested and sorted by hand
• Fermentation with indigenous yeasts
• Wines are fermented and aged without sulfur, only a small amount of sulfur added at bottling
• Wines neither fined nor filtered.
• After whole-cluster pressing for 6 hours, wine ferments in large Stockinger foudres for 1 month
• Wine ages on its lees for 11 months in stainless steel
• No bâtonnage
“Muriel Giudicelli, whose parents hail from the same village in Corsica, was always enthralled with the French island 120 miles off the coast of Provence. Even though she grew up mostly outside of Corsica—her parents were teachers who worked around the world, including on mainland France—she traveled back to the island frequently to stay with family during vacations. When the wine bug eventually bit, Muriel knew that Corsica was where she wanted to settle.
Like many vignerons who aren’t born into a winemaking family, her path to wine came through university courses, where she undertook agricultural and soil studies. Wary of modern enology, Muriel took the unconventional route of training with small domaines all over France to learn the craft, while waiting for any good opportunities to arise in Patrimonio, in the north of Corsica.
During her studies, she had befriended Antoine Arena, who, one day in 1996, called her up and told her about a retiring vigneron with terrific old vines, no children to take over, in a great part of Patrimonio, who was looking to sell. Muriel jumped at the opportunity, bought those 5 hectares of vines, and in 1997 began making wine. From day one, she farmed organically. She obtained organic certification in 2006 and biodynamic certification in 2012.
Muriel’s original holdings, as well as newer ones she has added since then, are all in the highly regarded Campo Gallo (“field of the rooster”) sub-region of Patrimonio, distinct due to its diverse pockets of green clay, red clay, granite, schist, and limestone. Yves Leccia’s parcels border hers. Today she has 10 hectares in total, which she works with her husband (he’s in charge of the vines, she’s in charge of the cellar) and only one employee.
Since 1997, Muriel has avoided the easy sale of the local market. Her main market has been and is still Paris. She wanted to make wine for wine lovers, not primarily for tourists, and was inspired by Antoine Arena’s vision of making Corsica and Patrimonio known beyond its borders and respected for its quality. With her Patrimonio whites and reds, Muriel has joined Antoine in cementing this legacy!” – from importer Kermit Lynch