We recently tasted the 2016 vintage of COS’s Cerasuolo di Vittoria, and Wow is this wine singing! We have been a fan of this wine for some time but this vintage is something special. If you are into fresh, medium-bodied, traditionally made Italian reds, then this is not to be missed!
Giusto Occhipinti of COS is a benchmark producer in the Vittoria appellation of Sicily, and certainly, one of the most important, influential, producers in all of Sicily if not Italy as a whole. The winery was founded in 1980 by three friends, Giambattista Cilia, Giusto Occhipinti, and Cirino Strano. The initials of their last names form the winery’s name.
They have never used any synthetic or chemical additives in the vineyard since the outset in 1980. Officially, the winery was an early practitioner of Biodynamic viticulture starting in 2000 and was certified (Organic) as of 2007. The climate of Vittoria is also generally warm and dry making it well-adapted to organic & biodynamic viticulture. Giusto and his vineyard team also prepare many of the Biodynamic treatments in house
As a goal, Giusto seeks to have the transparency of the soil conveyed into the wines themselves. To that end, he did extensive research on aging vessels and eventually decided on a combination of 440-liter clay amphorae sourced from Spain along with a collection of large neutral botti and also concrete tanks (latter mostly for the Frappato). The clay is porous like oak but has the advantage that it imparts less flavor to the wine than does even large, old casks. All aging at the winery is done in one of these vessels. Stainless steel is only used for assembling the wine prior to bottling. For many of the wines, the juice remains in contact with the skins for extended periods, even for whites. Giusto feels these extended macerations help the wine obtain natural preservatives which in turn allows them to do the aging and élévage with little or no added Sulphur until the bottling when there is only a small addition.
Azienda Agricola COS Cerasuolo di Vittoria 2016
Shelf Price $29.99
Sale Price $25.97
Organic / Biodynamic / Natural
93 pts Wine Advocate
The 2016 Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico is a very nice wine that shows a smooth texture and a delicate approach that grows in intensity. There are small-berry aromas with cassis, wild raspberry and dried blueberry, which would spruce up any pasta like a Sicilian pasta alla Norma. A blend of 40% Frappato and 60% Nero d'Avola aged in oak barrels for 12 months, the wine is delicate and smooth, with tiny steps that go the long haul. The tannins are well integrated and give the wine a firm, upstanding backbone. Some 83,000 bottles were made.