Richard Spurr, a real Corsican winemaker from the UK
If you’re planning a trip to the beautiful island of Corsica anytime soon and want to taste some fantastic local wines, check out the range from Enclos des Anges. English-Irish winemaker Richard Spurr may not be native to the island himself, but his devotion to Corsican grape varieties (like Sciacarello) and adoption of the local’s ‘Semper Fidelis’* philosophy definitely has me vouching for his authenticity. *Semper Fidelis: a latin phrase meaning ‘Always Faithful’; Used by the people of Calvi re. their loyalty to Genoa. Spurr uses this motto to demonstrate his loyalty to local culture through his winemaking.
A tall, slender, rockstar-looking type with earrings and camo- trimmed shorts, Richard runs the majority of the production on his own with the support of his wife Marjorie – a consulting professor of œnologie. He founded Enclos des Anges in 2007 after working extensively in Spain, Italy and other parts of France. The winery is located in the subregion of Vin de Corse-Calvi in the northwest part of the island. Most of the vineyards consist of old bush vines planted in the 60’s by the Michelin family who once had a handful of wineries in the area. It is in one of their abandoned warehouses – an enormous 4 floor space of wall to wall concrete tanks – that Richard started Enclos des Anges.
“I can work in here for about 54 years before filling it” he joked before telling us that he often gets fed-up with running up and down the stairs and just jumps off the wall to get down. All of his wines are made 100% organically, and believe me, it’s no marketing gimmick. His relationship to nature is as real as his rock&roll vibe. Not only does he practice his beliefs in the vineyards and cellar, but he also raises his own animals on the property. #supportorganic His winemaking approach is centred on low yields, ripe fruit, natural balance and minimal intervention – the same minimal intervention method that he applies to his sales technique I suppose… ”I’m like an ostrich with it’s head in the sand” he admitted, shrugging. Must be nice when your wine sells itself!
The range is divided into two main lines: Semper Fidelis, and the base range of Enclos des Anges White, Red and Rose. The rose was bursting with raspberry and spice with a refreshing, bright acidity, which Richard explained is typical for Sciacarello and that even at it’s maximum ripeness the acidity doesn’t drop off too much. The Vermentinu (dry white) was round, rich and complex with green apple, peach, grapefruit pith, purple flowers and even a hint of curry spice on the nose. The perfect refreshment after a long hard day at the beach. My favourite was the Sempir Fidelis red made from 70% Nielluccio & 30% Sciacarello. It was full of red and black cherry, tobacco and spice and had fine tannins and a silky smooth texture. All of his reds are left to age on the fine lees in concrete vats for a minimum of 1,5 years.
Jana Hoyt Kreilein
My name is Jana, and I’m the one behind the Instagram account the.wine.girl.
4 years ago I decided I wanted to work in the wine business. Thing is… I didn’t have any experience, and if I was being honest, I didn’t even know that much about wine! What I did know is that I liked it, I probably wouldn’t ever get bored of it, and that it’s one of those things, like food or music, that brings people together.