2021 Yves Leccia Ile de Beauté Rouge, Corsica, France – JR17/20

2021 Yves Leccia Ile de Beauté Rouge, Corsica, France – JR17/20



“Yves Leccia has a certain presence and noble bearing to him, much like his wines. In France they have often been referred to as the “Rolls-Royce” of Corsican wines, a reputation earned after nearly 30 years of making consistently elegant and sophisticated wines.

Raised in a small village in the heart of Patrimonio, Yves worked alongside his father in the vines and cellar at the earliest age he could. The Leccias have been making wine from some of the finest terroirs of Patrimonio for countless generations, and there was never the least doubt in Yves’ mind that he would continue the tradition. Originally working alongside his sister, he decided to branch off on his own in 2004 and focus on the single terroir he felt was the top in Patrimonio. This terroir, “E Croce,” sits on a thin chalk soil above a thick bedrock of pure schist, facing the gulf of St. Florent. Yves is a firm believer in the idea that if you want something done right you need to do it yourself, and thus he tends to his vines alone and works the cellar by himself as well. He keeps his yields low, knows when to harvest, and knows how to let E Croce express itself in the wines. Not a single bottle comes out of the domaine that isn’t meticulously looked after from start to finish.

In Corsica, Yves is celebrated not only for his wines, but also for being a founding member of A Filetta, a legendary and proudly nationalistic Corsican polyphonic singing group. Spend some time with Yves and you won’t hear him boast or even talk much about his accomplishments. His name, Leccia, is Corsican for Oak. The name is ironic if you look at Yves’ wines, given that he’s never had his wine touch a single oak barrel and has never allowed wood to enter his cellar. The name is less ironic if you look at Yves himself, with his stoic manner and understated personality.

• After sorting, all red grapes are de-stemmed, then placed in stainless steel cuvee.

• Fermentation lasts 12 to 15 days with daily pump-overs.

• After fermentation, the grapes are pressed and the wine is blended to taste.

• Red wines are aged for 12 months.

A blend of 80% Grenache 20% Niellucciu (Sangiovese) planted massale on clay, limestone, and schist in 1994.

“Full bottle 1,422 g. Certified Ecocert organic. 20% Nielluciu, 80% Grenache.
Heavy bottle (what is it with organic producers and their heavy bottles?!). But it’s a gorgeous wine. Wild Mediterranean herbs thread through wild-cherry sweetness. The quiet intensity of the fruit builds and grows in the mouth until it almost takes me breath away. I find myself holding the wine in my mouth, spellbound, not wanting to spit, not wanting to swallow. Tastes of a sea wind that’s whipped in wild and cold over the salt-spray of cliffs and across and through scrubby rosemary and thyme and olive trees clinging to rocky soils. More sweetness of fruit, tiny pops of cranberries and tiny morello cherries with their bitter stone and breath-taking sour snap, and then more herbs and a rub of sweet-woody spices. Long and fascinating and beautiful. A very exciting wine! (TC) – Jancis Robinson Purple pages (July 2022) – 17/20