How Good is Alzipratu Pumonte Corsica Red Wine?
Wine Review of 2016 Domaine d’Alzipratu Cuvée ‘Pumonte’ Calvi Rouge, Corsica, France
Score: 90+/100 points
Domaine Alzipratu is a winery located about 8 kilometers (5 miles) from the town of Calvi in the north-west of the French Corsica island in the Mediterranean Sea.
The estate was founded in the 1960’s by Baron Henry Louis de La Grange, the then owner of the Convent of Alzipratu. The domaine was at that time run by Maurice Acquaviva before it was taken over by his son Pierre and his wife Cécilia.
The vineyards cover 40 hectares (100 acres) split in 2 different parts. The first vineyard area is located north of the convent, near Zilia, and the 2d 10 km west of the village of Calenzana, in the upper Figarella valley.
Alzipratu’s Pumonte range (a red and a white wine, see the red wine review further down below) is made from vineyards in the locality Pumonte, a hill exposed to the west at the foot of the circus of Bonifatu.
This location is the source of a particular soil composition, made up of primarily of eroded granite.
The altitude here helps tempering the excesses of the summer temperatures and preserving the freshness of the flavors.
The Pumonte Red is made from a selection of parcels covering 4 hectares of Sciacarellu and Niellucciu old vines.
So, how Good is Alzipratu Pumonte Red Wine?
Let’s dig into it below…
Overall Review Notes & Tasting Impressions
Alzipratu Pumonte red comes in a tamed red color of medium intensity, filled with oranges hues, and surprisingly, a little pale for a wine from sunny Corsica. You expect from a Mediterranean wine to be big and concentrated in its appearance.
But that’s if you don’t know about the local Sciaccarellu and Niellucciu Corsican grape varieties that have more of a spicy Pinot Noir expression rather than your usual Syrah or Grenache grapes more commonly found on such sunny latitudes.
The aromatic profile however, is not shy of being expressive. It’s pungently spicy, boasting intense notes of black, green and white pepper. Yes, all of them pepper colors! It’s so powerfully spicy, with a chili-like feel to the smell.
Thyme and rosemary, with hints of vegetal herbal scents of boxwood complete the picture of a hearty and inviting nose. Yet, it is all coated in sour cherry jam aromas, generous orange peel for an overall very balanced and pleasing, captivating spicy and fruity smelling sensation.
The palate shines with a vibrant acidity, a mild and rather lose body texture, filled with velvety and textural, slightly edgy tannins. The mid-body wine charms with its generous character, as per the nose, mixing and combining subtly big bursts of herbal spices with delicate yet comforting ripe red berry fruits.
Hints of discrete and very well-integrated oak, perfectly respecting the fruit expression (from what appears to be used barrel, in all likelihood) add layers of sweet vanilla and caramel, softening and sweetening the balance.
A big-hearted herbal and spicy red, boasting a rare concentration of peppery spices scents of garrigue and cherry liqueur notes, combined into such a characterful wine with its own pleasing and unique expression.
A red wine to experience if you’re in search of new frontiers and new discoveries. A fascinating expression of Corsica’s Sciaccarellu and Niellucciu blend, a deeply successful one at that!