What’s not to like about Sicily’s frappato grape? Bright cherry and red berry fruit, silky juice, light body, excellent acidity, and great consumer value. Earlier this year I was knocked out by the frappatos and nero d’Avolas from Arianna Occhipinti, realizing how unadorned (maybe a good alternative to the overused “natural” marketing spin?) winemaking can turn frappato clean, pure, and luscious. Moving through the year’s meals guzzling as much frappato as possible, it was only a matter of time before I uncorked Arianna’s uncle’s Azienda Agricola Cos wines.
In a 2010 interview, Arianna said this about her uncle Giusto Occhipinti:
“…he’s been an inspiration for me since the beginning. He has always worked with natural methods; understandably, he experimented with new techniques during the boom of technological advances in the ‘80s, but he quickly came back to his roots.”
That’s saying a lot when she also labels Gravner and Joly as influencers, both pushing the envelope as leading pioneers in biodynamic and natural (unadorned?) winemaking in Friuli and the Loire Valley respectively.
Frappato sometimes shows its simple food friendly fruit and acid pleasures like straight forward gamay and pinot noir might. Other times, it can be wholly expressive packing layered punches that satiates through multiple levels of flavor and character. Every once in a while I open a bottle of frappato with elevated expectations and often enough the wine is quite good, but falls short of the amazingness I optimistically conjured in my brain. Not this time.
**** $25 2010 Cos Frappato is brilliant, fulfilling all expectations and then some. The bright red fruit is all there, delivered in a restrained richness, if you will, silky from entry to finish; a perfect balance of acid and fruit. In addition, there is earthiness playing harmonically to its symphony of strawberry, cherry, and raspberry flavors. This wine gives a perception of richness that almost makes it fell chewy despite its middle weight density. The color is a somewhat translucent, alluring shade of red. Most importantly, it is beyond delicious.
A stylish wine that presents frappato freshness wrapped in old world earthy charms, the 2010 Cos frappato is one of the most satisfying wines I have tasted so far this year; a glass of wine that will live forever in my tasting memory bank. I can not recommend it enough at $25; beyond value. Now with the utmost anticipation, I am going to open and taste the 2008 Cos Cerasuolo di Vittoria that beckons from my cellar. Lucky me.