The Arena Family of Patrimonio

   by Anthony Lynch

Antoine Arena, who some consider the historic godfather of Corsican terroir, is gradually passing the torch to his two sons. In a typically Corsican spirit of self-reliance, Antoine-Marie and Jean-Baptiste will carry on the Arena tradition through their very own domaines, having divvied up the family holdings so that each may tend to certain parcels independently. With these new arrivals, you’ll see how the two sons continue to push the envelope, ensuring that Antoine’s legacy lives on and the Arena name is forever associated with pioneering excellence in Corsican wine.

2013 Patrimonio Rouge Carco • Antoine Arena>

Antoine couldn’t bear to relinquish the storied Carco parcel, so he will continue to release the wine under his own label for the time being. This 100% Niellucciu is exactly what we love about the Arena reds: dense, chewy, driven, a bit rustic, and brimming with a wild energy that brings to mind the arid, craggy landscape of the Île de Beauté. From the hands of a Corsican legend, this beauty can be enjoyed young from an ice bucket alongside grilled fish just as it can be cellared for many years, patiently waiting to unleash its full spectrum of island flavors.

$45.00 per bottle $486.00 per case

2014 Vin de France Blanc “Hautes de Carco Macération” • Antoine-Marie Arena>

Hauts de Carco is perhaps the Arenas’ flagship vineyard. Sensing its potential, Antoine famously blasted away at the solid limestone and planted Vermentinu on this steep, fossil-laden plot upslope from Carco and just a stone’s throw from the sea. Today, his son Antoine-Marie explores this extreme terroir through a new lens. A one-month infusion of the juice on its skins unleashes another dimension of Malvasia, as the grape is known locally, while maintaining the salinity and herbaceous nuances typical of its terroir. Let the “Maceration” breathe and enjoy its qualities at table—Antoine-Marie served it with freshly caught, pan-seared calamari seasoned with garlic, Espelette pepper, and a dash of olive oil.

$39.00 per bottle $421.20 per case

2014 Muscat de Cap Corse “Grotte di Sole”
Jean-Baptiste Arena>

The Arena sons are as eager to think outside the box and execute novel ideas (see above) as they are to honor the local winemaking traditions that have come to define Corsica. One such tradition, Cap Corse’s celebrated dessert wine, represents one of the most fascinating and intriguing expressions of Muscat in the world. Talk about a sense of place: Muscat grown here seems to soak up the smells of its surroundings to give a uniquely Corsican perfume. It radiates Mediterranean sunshine, suggesting maquis wildflowers along with hints of wild mint and other herbs. Try splashing a dollop of the nectar over a seasonal fruit salad, then pour each of your guests a glass to accompany it—they are sure to be wowed.

$48.00 per bottle $518.40 per case

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