ABBAtucci! MAMMA MIA!
Nikki, the wine merchant and manager at a popular local market, recommended this Abbatucci Rouge Frais Impérial, a French red wine, to me. Her palate is as finely tuned as the tight harmonies of Swedish band extraordinaire, ABBA. Being an ABBA fan, I honed in on that portion of the ABBAtucci name, and if you will allow me to indulge in a bit of word whimsy, let me sing the praises of this wine.
This wine boasts 100% Sciaccarello grape which is the DANCING QUEEN on the island of Corsica whose volcanic, granitic soils create SUPER TROUPER wine. I almost sent out an SOS after I nearly fainted with pleasure over the floral and herbal aromas of this ethereal translucent red beauty that shimmers like gossamer in the glass. Juniper, rosemary and laurel shrubs are prolific throughout Corsica, and thusly the NAME OF THE GAME in the intoxicating bouquet of this Rouge Frais.
“TAKE A CHANCE ON ME”, this elegant wine whispered from the bottle. “LAY ALL YOUR LOVE ON ME”, I answered, swooning after the first luscious sip. GIMME! GIMME! GIMMEE more of the delicate acidity & fine-boned tannins of this exquisite libation! I bet winemaker Abbatucci makes MONEY MONEY MONEY on this wine! I HAVE A DREAM of someday visiting Corsica, my first stop being the Domaine Comte Abbatucci from where this wine hails.
And speaking of the winemaker (or shall we say in Français, vigneron), Jean-Charles Abbatucci is a direct descendant of General Jean-Charles Abbatucci, a Corsican hero of the French Revolution. Throughout the island, streets, plazas and monuments bear the revered general’s moniker.
Jean-Charles Abbatucci the vigneron is much revered as well for creating exceptional wines in his vineyard located in Casalabriva, a tiny town near the Corsican capital of Ajaccio. Jean-Charles is a proud Corsican and honors the unique terroir of this mountainous French Mediterranean island. He passionately adheres to biodynamic practices in tending to his vineyard. He maintains a pristine poly-culture ecosystem with sheep herds foraging through the vines; olive trees thrive on terraces nearby and untouched forests embrace the periphery. His vines are from cuttings of indigenous grapes whose history traces back to peasant farmers. In essence, he has saved these ancient grape varieties from extinction. When harvest-ready, these grapes are hand-picked, gently de-stemmed and fermented with indigenous yeasts.
Because of his careful adherence to such practices, Jean-Charles Abbatucci’s wines are certified biodynamic. He has been known to go the extra wild mile in following biodynamism to the letter, a philosophy that roots itself in the interconnectedness of the universe’s energies, eyebrow raising to some traditional lines of thought.
So for those sitting on the biodynamic fence who question the philosophy and skeptically wonder whether harvesting grapes when the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars makes a critical difference, let me share this with you. Jean-Charles goes as far as to broadcast music from loudspeakers as he tends to his vineyard. He plays that music again during the production process.
Do you wonder if he regales his grapes with ABBA tunes? Wouldn’t that be delightfully apropos given his surname? Actually, Jean-Charles plays traditional Corsican folk songs as he traverses the rows of his beloved vineyard, all in the spirit of being biodynamic and in being true to his ancestral roots. This serenading of the grapes might verifiably be the secret ingredient of his heavenly wines.
On a final note, and in keeping with my ABBA theme, let’s consider this: Napoleon Bonaparte was born on the island of Corsica and was comrade in arms with General Jean-Charles, so I’d venture to say WATERLOO would be the perfect ABBA tune to pair with ABBAtucci!
Santé! And if I have whetted your appetite for Abbatucci, keep your eyes peeled. The wines are difficult to find here in the United States and sell out quickly. I count myself blessed to have savored this delectable Rouge Frais Impérial, thanks to Nikki kindly setting a bottle aside for me.
Nikki, thank you for your thoughtfulness. And Jean-Charles Abbatucci, THANK YOU FOR THE MUSIC!