Nielluccio, Clos Signadore
The Clos Signadore is located in Poggio d’Oletta, situated within the inland mountainous part of the Patrimonio AOC. The Clos is planted to 40-year-old Nielucciu vines, which is the local red grape of Corsica and is closely related to Sangiovese. Vermentinu is also planted for white wine production. The vines are divided among four distinct terroirs, which blend together to make a sum greater than the parts. Since the domaine was created, Clos Signadore has avoided the use of chemicals in the vineyards. They only use mechanical weeding, and no chemical products are sprayed on the soil. The domaine has been certified organic since 2010. Wines are produced naturally, with no additives except SO2.
Fruit for Clos comes from the original four hectare plot of 50 year-old-vines called Morta Piana, which Christophe purchased in 2001 to create Clos Signadore. Composed of mostly clay-limestone with occasional schist and hand-harvested in small bins, the Clos is fermented with native yeasts and sees an incredibly long 45-60 day maceration, then ages for two years in demi-muids. This is a powerhouse red wine that requires a strong flavored and complex dish to go with it. In Corsica, they will grudgingly admit that Nielluciù is a close cousin of Sangiovese. Tasting this wine, one can easily draw a parallel between the great Tuscan reds from Brunello di Montalcino and this Nielluciù from Patrimonio, Corsica’s greatest terroir.