A white wine blended from 50% insolia and 50% grecanico, and as the first wine had unusual aromatics of wild mature honey, earthy herbs, and a slight dried fish aroma. On the palate the wine was rich, textured and complete, showing the true old-world character in a complex way.
Pithos Grecanico 2010
100% grecanico fermented in amphoras, blew my head off as I smelt Japanese seaweed that you use in miso soup, whilst on the palate was approachable yet unique, showing brightness, freshness, texture and concentration with very low alcohol.
A blend of 60% nero d’avola and 40% frappato, which are all fermented in amphoras separately and then blended together. A bright clean ruby colour, aromas of wild red earth and dried red fruits, and on the palate had life and passion to it, with approachable fruit and great acids to keep things balanced yet uncomplicated.
Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico 2009
The same blend of varieties, but is fermented in cement vats and spends time in large barrels. Much more subtle and gentle on the nose, denser and easier to understand for most people, but still an excellent example.
Nero di Lupo 2008
A 100% nero d’avola wine fermented and stored in a combination of amphoras and cement vats, maturing for 18 months before another three months of bottle-age pre-release. Very closed, earthy and rustic on the nose with some wild red fruits, intense but not obvious, and on the palate was focused and concentrated with exuberant tannins and wild mushrooms.
The range of wines produced by Cos
Thus I have arrived to my eighth and final week in Italy (for now), and I am doing so in quite possibly the most diverse and misunderstood region in the country; Sicily. After spending the weekend in the chaotic city of pizza, Napoli, I boarded the overnight ferry to Palermo. The ride was uneventful, apart from some terrible service for overpriced pizza, but I am glad I paid a little extra for a berth in a cabin, as trying to sleep out in the halls would have been challenging. The ferry arrived an hour earlier than indicated, so when I disembarked in Palermo it was 7:00am and of course nothing was open, so I hit the road. My goal was Faro, a region very close to Messina, where I had an appointment with a very small producer. Unfortunately the address I had failed to get me to the winery and the contact number had similar problems. Therefore after several hours I was forced to abandon this plan with great disappointment, and head south through the Etna region where I unfortunately had no appointments. It was fascinating to see fossilised volcanic lava on the sides of the mountain, and hard to believe that vineyards are planted metres away from this lava. It was a shame that I didn’t visit any producers here, as it would have been interesting to learn more about the specific viticulture and interactions of the varieties with the environment. I look forward to the chance to taste some wines from this part of the island, and hopefully I will be able to visit again. From what I have seen so far, Sicily is most definitely different to mainland Italy, but then again, each region is different from each other. Like in other parts of Italy it is not so easy to get around; the roads are not in great condition, there is often traffic, rarely is there a direct route between places that you don’t have to pay for, and the landscape being hilly also makes for slow-going. But I made it to Vittoria, for three sensational visits on my second but first day in Sicily.
|Me at Mount Etna