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Cantina Horus, Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico “Pittore Contadino”Sicily, Italy 2017 (750mL)  |  FREE Shipping on any 6 bottles!

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Cantina Horus, Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico “Pittore Contadino” Sicily, Italy 2017 (750mL)

Fruit
Earth
Body
Tannin
Acid
Alcohol
For what it’s worth, I don’t blame anyone who’s attention is immediately drawn to today’s label. For me, it evokes the same polychromatic, gentle-on-the-eyes composition of Monet’s landscapes during his time in Monte Carlo. But I’m no art dealer, and I’m not claiming to be either. What I can say with wholehearted assurance, though, is that “Pittore Contadino” is as much a visually arresting showpiece as it is a gustatory one. I’d even wager that not a single soul will drink this full-throttle, delightfully unique, profoundly Sicilian red without serious gusto. It’s a bold and wildly satisfying ride that introduces you to the one-and-only Grand Cru (‘DOCG’) on the entire island.

What’s behind this fascinating, gallery-worthy bottle is an indigenous blend of Frappato and Nero d’Avola, the yin and yang of Sicily. Knowing all this, one would, and should, expect this sensational bottle to be readily available for consumption but I’ve just learned the opposite to be true: Brought in by an infinitesimal importer focused entirely on organic, micro-scale, family-run European wineries, here, today, is the only time and place you’ll see this wine. And there’s hardly any to go around—if everyone in our office snagged a case, there would be none left. Take up to six bottles and run!

Because of the “di” in the Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico, some consumers may be tempted to think of Cerasuolo as a grape variety, like Barbera d’Asti or Sangiovese di Romagna, but in this case, it refers to the actual nomenclature of the word (‘cerasa’ = Sicilian dialect for ‘cherry’). As for Vittoria, this is the anchor town in the zone, located below Mount Etna in the southeastern corner of Sicily. The soils here are referred to as terra rosa, and consist of reddish, sandy clays with a stratum of limestone underneath. This is home for Cantina Horus, a Certified Organic Mediterranean paradise growing grapes, almonds, and olives. Natural fertilizers are used to enrich the soil, rose bushes line each row of vines, and pest-fighting organisms are deployed throughout in order to protect the crop and promote biodiversity. Really, all one needs to do in order to get an idea of this Sicilian Shangri-La is look at today’s label. 

Cerasuolo di Vittoria is the first and only DOCG on the island of Sicily, and though it is a sprawling ‘Grand Cru’ appellation, only two grapes are authorized for use:  Nero d’Avola and Frappato. Today’s “Pittore Contadino” loosely translates into “farmer artist” and is an homage to a local painter by the name of Francesco Giombarresi. The blend is an equal split of Nero and Frappato, both of which are vinified separately before blending and 12 months of maturation. After bottling, the wine is then aged for six additional months—in order to tack on “Classico” to Cerasuolo di Vittoria, a wine must see 18 total months of aging before release. 

There’s a reason this ‘Grand Cru’ appellation was named after the Italian word for cherry: The wine looks, smells, and tastes like a hypnotizing, ripe-and-dried fusion of Morello, Maraschino, and wild black cherries. It erupts with delicious aplomb, unafraid to flaunt dense layers of plush red-black fruit and absurdly refreshing waves of crushed minerals, damp clay, soft spice, and a light smokiness. With the additional age, the cherry fruit has deepened and broadened into something almost Luxardo or Kirsch-like, all while retaining the tangy, bright notes of the Frappato (citrus peel, fresh-cut strawberry). It’s amazing how the Frappato (acid, energy) and Nero d’Avola (fruit, color) play off one another to create a coherent, utterly delicious whole. That sum-of-its-parts sensation doesn’t always happen in blends, so it’s always fun to experience it! Seeing as this 2017 “Pittore Contadino” is luscious and softly tannic, only 15 minutes are required in a decanter before serving close to cellar temperature in Burgundy stems. Cheers!



Cantina Horus, Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico “Pittore Contadino” Sicily, Italy 2017 - SommSelect

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  • CountryItaly
  • RegionSicily
  • Sub-RegionCerasuolo di Vittoria Classico DOCG
  • SoilSandy Calcareous
  • FarmingCertified Organic
  • BlendNero d’Avola 50%, Frappato 50%
  • Alcohol14%
  • Service Temp.60° F
  • GlasswareBurgundy Stem
  • DrinkNow-2025
  • Decanting15 Minutes
  • PairingCaponata

  • CountryItaly
  • RegionSicily
  • Sub-RegionCerasuolo di Vittoria Classico DOCG
  • SoilSandy Calcareous
  • FarmingCertified Organic
  • BlendNero d’Avola 50%, Frappato 50%
  • Alcohol14%
  • Temp.Serve at 60° F
  • GlasswareBurgundy Stem
  • DrinkingNow-2025
  • Decanting15 Minutes
  • PairingCaponata

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