I love the wines of COS – and this little gem in particular. It hails from the Vittoria region of Sicily and is the only Sicilian DOCG.
COS was formed back in the New Romantic era of 1980 (I now have Duran Duran’s “Union of the Snake” going round in my head) by three old school friends; Giambattista Cilia, Giusto Occhipinti and Pinuccia Strano, who – after a brief flirtation with new barriques – soon realized that their distinctive terroir was presenting them with flavours that didn’t benefit from a cloak of new oak. They now use a combination of old barrels and 400 litre clay amphorae, sunk into the ground, to ferment their red and white wines. All are distinctive, but this baby is my favourite.
Cerasuaolo di Vittoria is a blend of two indigenous grape varieties – Nero d’Avola and Frappato – making a fresh, stylish, and expressive red wine. It’s packed to the gunwales with crunchy, bitter cherry fruit. Has a rustically firm tannic structure, with the zip and zest of the Frappato lifting and enhancing the finish. It is altogether dangerously easy to open more than one bottle!