SAVING BIANCU GENTILE
by Chris SantiniBiancu Gentile, once widely grown and admired in Corsica, was later abandoned and left for dead. How could such a unique grape—found only on the island and famed for its unmatched aromatics—fall from such heights? It was a victim of rural exodus out of an economically and culturally battered Corsica, in an era when Corsican craft and tradition were frowned upon by the French government. Thankfully, in more recent years a new and younger generation set out to right a wrong, and went searching for remnants of the famed Biancu Gentile. At the time, it is estimated there was only a single acre left under vine, old and poorly tended at that. Little by little, piece by piece, good budwood was selected, propagated, grafted, and replanted. Soon six acres were under vine. Talk spread further among growers, and the plantings multiplied. Fast-forward a decade or so to today and the future of this grape is undeniable. It is the up-and-coming white Corsican grape, rapidly winning back the reputation it had earned so long ago. Yves Leccia offers a Biancu Gentile that is pure and emphasizes herbal and citrus aromatics—fermented in cuve and raised for freshness and to reveal the essence of the varietal. Canarelli gives his Biancu Gentile longer aging in concrete eggs on its lees, to coax out the richer texture and summer flower notes—perfect for the Mediterranean table. Both are testaments to the singularity and enormous potential of Biancu Gentile, saved from the brink of extinction.
2012 ÎLE DE BEAUTÉ “BIANCU GENTILE”
$34.00 per bottle $367.20 per case
2012 VIN DE FRANCE “BG”
$47.00 per bottle $507.60 per case