2022 COS, IGP Terre Siciliane Frappato
2022 COS, IGP Terre Siciliane Frappato

2022 COS, IGP Terre Siciliane Frappato

Sicily, Italy 2022 (750mL)
Regular price$36.00

2022 COS, IGP Terre Siciliane Frappato

If you have any interest in Italian wine whatsoever, you are likely acquainted with Sicily’s native Frappato grape—and, in all likelihood, COS was the producer who provided the introduction. In any case, today’s wine is a Southern Italian benchmark and an uncommonly delicious, lighter-weight red that has arrived just in time for summer. This wine, especially when given a slight chill, a short decanting, and a nice Burgundy glass, is arguably all you need to have at the ready for the next three to four months: It’s versatile as all get-out, aromatic, ready to enjoy immediately and as evocative of its place of origin as any wine could hope to be. It may go without saying that COS Frappato is a darling of the sommelier set, but you don’t have to just sit back and hope to encounter it on a good wine list someplace. Nope, today is the time for decisive action—you need at least a few bottles of this icon ever at the ready!

As many SommSelect subscribers already know, COS is perhaps the most celebrated producer in the Vittoria region of southeastern Sicily, which is home to Sicily’s lone “DOCG” designation: Cerasuolo di Vittoria. Wines labeled “Cerasuolo di Vittoria” (the appellation was elevated to DOCG status in 2005) combine the Syrah-like Nero d’Avola with the racy, featherweight, strawberry scented Frappato, usually in 60%-40% proportions. Because of the “di” in the name, some consumers might be tempted to think of Cerasuolo as a grape name (as in the Cerasuolo grape “of” Vittoria, like Barbera d’Asti or Sangiovese di Romagna), but in this case it refers to the style (“cherry-like”) of the wine produced. Vittoria is the anchor town in the zone, where the soils are referred to as terra rosa: reddish, sandy clays with a strata of limestone underneath.

But COS, which was founded in 1980 by three friends who went into wine initially as a lark, also produces a “varietal” wine from Frappato only—as most producers in the region do. On its own, Frappato produces a very ethereal, brightly fruited red reminiscent of drippingly ripe wild strawberries just plucked off the bush. It is usually aged in steel or, in COS’s case, in terracotta amphorae (or concrete), to preserve freshness. The face of the operation these days is Giusto Occhipinti, whose devotion to organic and biodynamic farming and natural winemaking has turned him into an international wine celebrity—and recent vintages of the COS wines have displayed exceptional purity and cleanliness while also touting their “natural” bona fides.  

Although the wines of nearby Mount Etna have become the cool wines du jour from Sicily, this ’22 offers just as much pleasure and intrigue as anything from Etna: brambly fruit and floral aromatics in a plush, light-bodied package. In the glass, it displays a medium ruby-red core moving to a garnet rim. As is usually the case with varietal Frappato wines, the big draw is the aromatic profile—in this case, a basket-full of red, black, and blue fruits: wild strawberry; bing cherry; blueberry; and red and black raspberries. It is light-to-medium in body, with an appealingly juicy/tangy quality—tailor-made for serving at around cellar temp (55 degrees) to highlight the fruit and take the edge of the acidity (which is nevertheless very well balanced).

The palate is a delicious, energetic melding of primary fruit and savory notes of dried flowers, warm spices, and crushed stones. Decant it about 30 minutes before serving at 60 degrees in Burgundy stems and pair it with anything tomato-y and Sicilian, be it sheet-pan pizza, baked pasta, or an eggplant caponata. This is a reference-point wine for Italophiles, but really, it’s a reference point for anyone who loves wine. Do not miss it!

2022 COS, IGP Terre Siciliane Frappato

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