Terenzuola Fosso di Corsano: ‘a delicious outcast’
Filippo Bartolotta delves into how Terenzuola’s Fosso di Corsano offers an unusually “serious” expression of Vermentino by straddling the terroirs of Liguria and Tuscany.
There’s some wines one has been having a longer relationship than others, and Terenzuola Vermentino Fosso di Corsano is one of them. Maybe because it’s a wine born in Fosdinovo, the mystical border region of Lunigiana which blurs the boundaries between Tuscany and Liguria leaving the travellers always uncertain whether his foot steps are walking in one or the other region. Or it is maybe because 15 years ago nobody really cared about Vermentino as a “serious” wine and I felt Terenzuola’s was a delicious outcast: an underdog variety emphasising the mineral and iodine traits derived from the sandy and schisty soil overlooking the Ligurian sea, but banking on the skeleton of the Tuscan geological matrix.
While enjoying this wine after a long day of hiking on these beautiful and forgotten seaside mountain, I remember thinking how this vibrant juice wasn’t just the perfect companion with my friends and the local testaroli pasta al pesto, but a white with ageing potential. Fosso di Corsano Vermentino Colli di Luni is the essence of the Ligurian sea breeze with that iodine, salty edge, a hyper-focused citrus fruit character with wild fennel and dry Mediterranean herbs.
Ivan Giuliani is now the owner of 22 hectares of vines which stretch from the Colli di Luni towards the Candia hills right under the long shade of the (Michelangelo’s) marble caves of Massa and Carrara all the way to the heroical terraces of Cinque Terre. Fosso di Corsano Vermentino comes from 5ha split in 16 parcels located between 250 and 450 metres above sea level. The grapes are softly pressed, and the must goes though a short cold maceration before fermentation in steel tanks where it spends 7-8 months on its fine lees.
Terenzuola Fosso di Corsano Colli di Vermentino 2011
Orange zest, lychees explosion with a sweet lime and salty butter palate. Such a contrasted wine with an almost imperceptible tannic presence and an uplifting gentian and super juicy citrus finish. Still young and yummy.
Terenzuola Fosso di Corsano Colli di Vermentino 2013
Gun flint, lemon, citrus, lime, zippy, crunchy and utterly delicious. Amazing -riesling like- petrol notes combine gently with pine apple, cotton candy and mango fruit. It shows a little more evolution, but is still so fresh and vibrant.
Terenzuola Fosso di Corsano Colli di Vermentino 2015
A more reserved version focusing on almond and peach fruit with some colder spices like cardamom and some yellow flowers. The palate is like opening the window of a rustic stone house consumed by the sea breeze. The Mediterranean herbs are just beautiful, but the texture slightly nervous – I think it still needs time.
Terenzuola Fosso di Corsano Colli di Vermentino 2016
This was possibly my favourite one, as the discrete thyme and basil notes were killing me softly with the flinty Mersault-match head-smoky-citrus-sexiness. The palate is all about the essence of orange peel, bergamot and grapefruit juice with a touch of salted acacia honey.
Terenzuola Fosso di Corsano Colli di Vermentino 2017
This bottle was way too ripe, too creamy and with an oxidative note. It wasn’t corked, but maybe had a bad cork.
Terenzuola Fosso di Corsano Colli di Vermentino 2018
Flinty like the 2013, but way cleaner and more focused with the fruit extraction and the intriguing mightiness of dry aromatic herbs like, wild mint, thyme and some anise. The palate is all about yellow flowers, some candied ginger and lime.
Terenzuola Fosso di Corsano Colli di Vermentino 2021
Stone fruit, official herbs, creamy and spicy at once. Some hints of shy tropical notes blend with some juniper-like balsamic character. I was gobsmacked to find it so expressive and talkative on the nose. The palate though was far more introverted with an interesting contrast of creaminess and green traits. Still too young.
Terenzuola Fosso di Corsano Colli di Vermentino 2022
This wine does not yet have the petrol, lime and Mediterranean herbs kaleidoscopic face of some of his older bros but it will definitely get there. At this point is remarkable the white floral notes, the gentle nipitella – wild mint – and saffron hints and the broom flowers. The palate is vibrant, mineral and very lingering. Buy some now and hide a few away!