I’m not sure if it is the addition of the fruity Frappato (40%), a local Sicilian grape which blends so nicely with the more structured Nero D’Avola (60%), the unique soils of Sicily, or the fact that the wine is fermented in concrete rather than stainless steel, but this wine is unusual without being odd or outlandish. It’s like an alternative kid—different but not too weird.
The wild nose of black fruits and bright cherries, fresh mushroom, dried flowers, and an electric smell like ozone (the smell the air has after a lightening storm) suggest power and novelty. But it is old-world delicate on the palate. The focused fruit flavors float languidly but gracefully to the surface, and linger in clean and transparent composure before finally giving way to fine-grained tannins that persist but never grip.
A medium-bodied, vibrant wine with an elegant mouthfeel, supple but lean like second-tier Burgundy but with more finesse and gravitas. This is a beautiful, beguiling wine that will enhance a wide range of foods.
Cos is one of the innovative wineries that is putting Sicily on the wine map. Many of their wines, although not the Cerasuolo, are fermented and aged in the (really) old-fashioned way—in amphora pots as the Ancient Greeks and Romans did. And the Cerasuolo is aged in old oak barrels so as to impart as little oak flavor as possible. As they use no filtering, no additives, and very little sulphur, their wines are often referred to as “natural” wines.
Cerasuolo di Vittoria is the only region in Sicily to attain DOCG status.