DOMAINE nicolas Mariotti bindi
It’s all very well to leave Corsica for the bright lights of big city Paris, but once Corsica is in your veins, it’s only a matter of time before it calls you home. Such is the case for Nicolas Mariotti Bindi, who, while studying law decided that a life among the vines, and not the courtroom, was his true calling.
Nicolas slowly made his way back to Corsica via a winding wine route, including Beaujolais. Once back on home soil, he sharpened his winemaking skills with local legends Antoine Arena, Domaine Leccia and Domaine Giudicelli. In 2007, he was fortunate to farm his first 5ha patch of vines thanks to the generosity of another local producer. Today, that patch has grown to fifteen hectares across several vineyards in Patrimonio, idyllically nestled between the Mediterranean sea and the Corsican mountains.
The vineyards produce Niellucciu (aka Sangiovese) and Vermentinu (aka Vermentino), making wines for his premium Nicolas Mariotti Bindi Vin de France wines, along with the excellent entry level Cantina Di Torra AOP Patrimonio wines. Against normal convention, the Vin de France wines from this producer are more premium, with the classification due to high density vineyards, planted at 7,600 vines per hectare, which is outside AOP laws but provides more freedom in the vineyard.
The climate in this region is quite unique, making for frosty mornings, early winters and humidity in the valley, all impacting the vineyards in different ways as they vary from 50 - 200m above sea level. This diversity in climate also extends to the vineyard terroir.
The founding Porcellese massal vineyard planted in 1966 consists of old, low yielding (25lh/ha) Niellucciu bushvines, and sits on old alluvial and pebbles.The Mursaglia and Lumiu vineyards sit on clay and limestone terroir, with the Carcu vineyard a clay and limestone slope, facing north east with vines planted in 1970, 1995 and 2009. This last terroir is used for the Cantina di Torra wines.
Bindi goes gently in his vineyards, careful not to overwork to avoid soil erosion, with low input of copper and sulphur in the vineyard. The care extends to handpicking the grapes, going into 500L boxes to preserve the berries, many of which are picked early to ensure signature liveliness in the end wines.
In the winery, the white grapes are pressed in whole bunches before allowing to naturally ferment for up to one month. The wines are then held in stainless steel for 12 months on fine lees. Unusually for Corsica, the white wines also go through malolactic fermentation.
The red grapes are de-stemmed in order to avoid bitterness, with cold maceration for 48 hours and a natural fermentation never exceeding one month. During this time, the juice will see light pumping over daily to wet the top of the tank, avoiding over extraction to create wines with finesse. None of the wines are filtered given the natural clarification over time.
Perhaps it’s Mariotti’s training in law that has fostered a precision from the vineyard right through to the labelling - each wine has the exact percentage of alcohol and sulphur written on the label. The wines are also certified organic, however Bindi chooses not to advertise this on the bottles..
Nicolas’ wines are lively and incredibly pure. Delicious in their youth and also capable of ageing brilliantly, we recommend buying some for now, and some for later!