Sunday, August 24, 2014


We interrupt the Civilian Series to bring you something completely different! David, our Sunday man, kicks off the first in a series of booze and books pairings. In this case, the booze is a lovely summer rose that we snagged for your late summer enjoyment. Stuck in the city? Grab a bottle, grab the book, and pretend you're spending the last lazy days of summer on the shores of Corsica.

Summer Reader's Rosé

On the French island of Corsica, there’s a new force in terroir-driven wines and his name is Christophe Ferrandis. If you never knew the names that came before him, his still tops our list of Corsica’s serious rosés (no, that’s not an oxymoron). So, read on if you’re looking to fill both of your glasses this summer – wine and reading (yes, I speak for my bespectacled self on that second one).

Trade the city streets for a Corsican beach.
Ferrandis’ Clos Signadore Patrimonio Rosé “A Mandria fills glass one with a Corsican grape related to Sangiovese called Nielluccio, grown organically on marl and limestone. With the finesse he acquired producing rosés at Bandol’s great house Chateau Pibarnon, Christophe delivers a tricky balance of savory terroir, elegantly textured juice and lean, dry fruit that recalls Provence. This will soon find you lost in the novel’s pages while sporting glass two.

Many things make this wine an ideal literary accompaniment to Jérôme Ferrari's Le Sermon sur la chute de Rome (our staff pick for this bottle). But here are the standouts:
  • The terroir tells a story as rich and nuanced as this remarkable novel.
  • The novel is set in Bastia, a few miles as the gull flies from Clos Signadore vineyards.
  • Organic devotion is as passionate a philosophy for Ferrandis as is the study of life expressed in Ferrari's writing - cover crops between the vines, no synthetic pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers, hand-harvesting and a 2013 certification are proof.

The apparent simplicity of Clos Signadore's rose will keep you sipping til you’re dizzy enough to forget whether it’s you or the novel’s two lead characters, Matthieu Antonetti and his best friend Libero Pintus, who dropped PhD philosophy studies in Rome to run a bar in the small town where Libero grew up and Matthieu spent summers as a child.

The tale’s title is borrowed from St. Augustine's Sermon on the Fall of Rome and traces the story of Matthieu's grandfather - born on the island of Corsica in the early 20th century – in his travels through French Africa as part of the diplomatic corps. The pages cross cultures, continents and lifetimes revisited from the tiny bar to bring our two weary travelers full circle, home to the island of their youth.

Elements of the plot echo Ferrari's own biography. Of Corsican descent, his journey took him from philosophy at the Sorbonne to small town teaching in Porte Vecchio and, then, home to organize his "cafes philosophies" in Bastia, on Corsica's northeast coast.

Perhaps Ferrari's philosophers, both real and fictional, consumed something like this delicious bottle - elegant, savory and well-chilled - to relieve the fevered dramas of the curious mind. Go grab your glasses, the wine, and the book and you can, too. Clos Signadore Patrimonio Rosé “A Mandria”: Price: $29.99

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