Clos Saint-Vincent Vino di Gio Rouge 2010

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Clos Saint Vincent is one of the two great names of Bellet, the other being Chateau de Bellet, a venerable estate that nearly single-handedly preserved the regionåäs small wine industry in the dire years after World War II. The history of this respected producer is considerably shorter, and dates to the 1960s. In 1993, Gio Sergi, a former auto body repairman and brasserie owner, purchased the steeply terraced, 4.4-acre Clos Saint Vincent with his father-in-law, Roland Sicardi. Knowing nothing about winemaking or growing grapes, Sergi worked the land by day and took enology courses at night. Within a decade, the wines of Clos Saint Vincent were winning international plaudits. That success enabled the acquisition of more vines; today this micro-estate comprises 17 acres, all farmed biodynamically by Gio and his son Julien. The regionåä's wines gained the Bellet appellation in 1941, and arguably have more in common with those of nearby Italy than the rest of Southern France. Its whites, for example, are based on Vermentino (also called Rolle in France). This ancient variety is planted widely in Italy and yields fantastically fresh, seafood-friendly whites redolent of citrus and minerals. The Sergis make about 20 barrelsåä-worth of Les Clos Blanc each year, all fermented and aged in neutral oak.

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