COS, Cerasuolo Di Vittoria Classico 2015 (about $30)

Italian Wine for june, 2019

Cerasuolo di Vittoria is a red wine produced in the area around the small town of Vittoria, which is about 14 miles on a very winding, corkscrew road west of Ragusa in southeastern Sicily. It is Sicily’s only DOCG-designated wine region.

Cerasuolo di Vittoria is one of the most distinctive wines produced in Sicily. It is a blend of two indigenous Sicilian varieties – Nero d’Avola, arguably Sicily’s best red wine grape, and Frappato (frahp pat’ toe). The Nero d’Avola adds body and structure to the mix while the Frappato adds floral aromas and fruit flavors. Cerasuolo di Vittoria typically has a fairly light cherry-red color that can be deceiving as the wine is medium-to-full-bodied and fairly structured. It is a distinctive and delicious wine with good acidity that is quite cellar-worthy and can be aged for up to twenty years.

The distinctive COS winery name is derived from the first letters of the surnames of the original three founders of the winery (Cilia, Occhipinti and Strano). Initially started in the early 1980’s on a shoestring budget by the three long-time friends, they quickly found critical success and as the business took-off they decided to make it a serious, full-time pursuit. Today it is regarded as one of southern Italy’s premier wineries.

But the owners of this winery march to a different drummer in their willingness to experiment and try new procedures or reinvent old approaches to making wines. From something as simple changing the shape of the traditional wine bottle for their wines to substantive issues like implementing a holistic, biodynamic approach to winemaking as well as experimenting with aging some wines in terracotta amphora, the owners of COS have indicated a willingness to experiment with new, or in some cases, old procedures. They have adopted a green approach to winem2015 Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico from the COS winery.aking with unfiltered passion, so to speak, and in the process have made some extraordinarily good wines.

The 2015 COS Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico, as in years past, is a blend of 60 percent Nero d’Avola and 40 percent Frappato. The grapes are fermented in stainless steel tanks and aged in oak barrels for 20 months. The wines are bottled unfiltered in distinctive squat-shaped bottles with broad shoulders that resemble old Port wine bottles.

COS’s Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico has a cherry-red color and opens up with an aromatic ensemble of over-ripe black cherries and raspberries with a fruity-floral lift. It is medium-to-full bodied and the palate offers up red fruit intensity with some spicy earth notes and a round, full mouthfeel, pleasant acidity and light tannins. It’s an elegant wine, beautifully balanced and complex, and a real pleasure to drink.

COS’s Cerasuolo di Vittoria is very flexible and food-friendly and goes well with a variety of foods from veal dishes and risotto with porcini mushrooms to hearty roast lamb or pork dishes and stews.


©Richard Marcis
June 3, 2019

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