- 2017 Terra Santa, Ile de Beaute, Corsica, France ($7.99 @Costco; California)
The calendar assures us that winter is over. Sure enough, the sunlight is warmer here in the northern hemisphere and each day we get a little more. The vineyards have started to wake up from their long winters’ nap here in California. Growers refer to this as “bud break”. It’s an exciting time as we usher in a new vintage, and it looks like this:
While we usher in Spring, our tastes in food and wine typically begin to change along with the weather. We begin to crave lighter food, accompanied by lighter wines. This week’s featured wine is perfect for the season.
This white blend from Terra Santa caught my eye for two reasons.
- It’s well under our $10 threshold at just $7.99 a bottle.
- It’s from the island of Corsica (a French territory heavily influenced by neighboring Italy) and my spirit of discovery and wine adventure was activated since I don’t recall ever tasting a Corsican wine.
This wine immediately conjured up summer trips in Europe for me where we would enjoy all sorts of light, fresh, refreshing white wines with all sorts of fresh seafood. Prawns in Portugal. Grilled whole fish in Hamburg. Fried scallops in London. This medium-bodied white wine (a blend of 60% Vermentino and 40% Chardonnay) strikes a nice balance between flyweight wines like Pinot Grigio and heavyweights like California Chardonnay.
The light, crisp quality of Vermentino with the richer, rounder, flavors of Chardonnay yields a wine featuring notes of stone fruits, white flowers and citrus on the nose and palate. It’s as refreshing as the best Italian white wines, with complexity reminiscent of classic French Chardonnay. It also reminds me of a Spanish Albariño or a well-made Vinho Verde from Portugal.
A bonus: it has a reasonably low level of alcohol by volume (ABV) – just 13%.
This modestly priced wine elbowed its way onto the Wine Spectator’s Top 100 of 2018 list. It was wine number 64. If you are not familiar with the list, it’s a big honor to make it. It’s an even bigger deal when a $7.99 wine makes the list and is awarded 90 points.
Here is what the finely tuned tasters at “The Spectator” thought of this pick: