Antoine-Marie Arena "San Giovanni" Patrimonio Blanc 2018
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Direct Press Selection | July 2022
The name Antoine Arena is synonymous with Corsican wine. I don't think we'd being seeing such fantastic wines coming off the island today if Kermit Lynch hadn't taking such a strong position on producers like Arena and Giacometti several decades ago. I always like to discuss how stylistically Corsica is truly the intersection of France and Italy, and because the wines are still somewhat under-appreciated by Americans represent an insane value.
In 2014, the Arena family split up the family's holdings in Patrimonio, the crown jewel of Corsican wine production. Vineyards were divided between Antonine and his two sons Antoine-Marie and Jean-Baptiste. Antoine-Marie's San Giovanni Blanc is pure, Vermentinu (they spell it with a u on the island) comes from a tiny .5 hectare vineyard planted on the regions trademark limestone soils. The grapes are given a gentle 5 day maceration (this is NOT an orange wine) before being pressed and fermented in concrete. Aromas of citrus and pear blossoms spring from the glass, with a gentle grassy undertone. The palate is lush, but balanced, with medium-acidity and a creamy mouthfeel aided by the skin contact the grapes received. A foundation of peach, nectarine and yellow melon notes are supported by a strong, stoney mineral tone. The finish is long and saline. Perfect for fatty seafood dishes.
[Kirk Sutherland, July 2022]