Delightful Jolt of Discovery - 2012 Abbatucci: Rose Faustine & Rouge Frais Imperial

Posted by Joe Salamone

"Delightful Jolt of Discovery"
2012 Abbatucci:
Rosé Faustine & Rouge Frais Impérial

"Collectively, Abbatucci’s wines will stretch your palate, your imagination, and even your notions about what wine is or can be." -David Schildknecht

Abbatucci is singlehandedly taking the wines of Corsica to a level that had seemed unimaginable. He's putting this esoteric island on the world stage.

Today, we focus on two recent releases and two favorites, the 2012 Rosé Faustine and 2012 Rouge Frais Impérial.

Abbatucci's wines are so resolutely unique, so compellingly put together that they're eye-opening for even the most seasoned palates. Back in 2011, David Schildknecht wrote: "I can think of few if any wines that have given me a more delightful jolt of discovery in the past year than those of Jean-Charles Abbatucci" The wines are really that compelling - there's depth of terroir that surfaces with subtlety and yet with a powerful force and a purity that only the most sensitive winemakers achieve.

The Rosé Faustine highlights this, it's one of the most serious and expressive rosés around. David Schildknecht, one of the sharpest palates around, commented on the 2011 edition "I can’t recall ever tasting a finer rose." The 2012 is just as an accomplished follow-up to the 2011.

Rosé Faustine is a rosé for the table, to hold onto for years and to drink well beyond the warm months. You can think of Rosé Faustine as occupying a middle zone between the deep, structured rosés of Chateau Simone or Valentini's Cerasuolo and fresher, more imminently drinkable Provençal rosés that are meant to be drunk in quantity in the sun.

Abbatucci's 2012 Faustine Rosé is defined by the ocean and sunbaked earth. There's an unmistakable sea breeze saline minerality along with herbal notes. Layers of citrus zest add yet another dimension of complexity to the wine.

Moving to the 2012 Rouge Frais Impérial, it is mandatory to first mention how delicious and gulpable the wine is. Rouge Frais Impérial dramatizes just how original and thought-provoking the methods are at Abbatucci.

Rouge Frais Impérial comes from vines that were allowed to essentially go wild - they are unpruned. The result is a beautifully fresh and vibrant wine. Corsica is warm; there's no way around it, the brightness of the Rouge Frais is startling. The 2012 clocks in at 12.5% alcohol. Beaujolais lovers take notice.

The 2012 Rouge Frais delivers bouncy cherry and plum fruits with an underlying mineral edge and notes of sunbaked scrub brush. It's the brightness, energy and precise articulation that make the wine so compelling.

Abbatucci's vineyards are on pink granite soils near the island's capital of Ajaccio. It's here that Abbatucci spoils his vines, adhering strictly to biodynamic methods and stretching his care to the most far-fetched details and beyond. He even plays traditional Corsican polyphonic music in his vineyards and cellars. It might sound far-out... but it also highlights his level of dedication. I guess, too, the wines themselves take care of emphasizing that.

Both of these are really impressive and highly recommended. We've been big fans of Abbatucci's wines since they first started being imported a few years ago. It's really nice to see someone working so hard, so originally and successfully in an esoteric corner.

To order, please email us at or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits