2012 COS “Nero di Lupo” Nero d’Avola, Terre Siciliane IGP Rosso, Vittoria, Sicily, Italy.
COS-Cilia, Occhipinti and Strano was formed by three friends, Giambattista (Titta) Cilia, Giusto Occhipinti and Cirino (Rino) Strano, winemaking visionaries that wanted to explore making wine of their ancestors and using biodynamic farming in the vineyards. Their project started in the early eighties, but everything as we know it changed in 2000 with the full adoption of biodynamics and the use of amphoras, like the ancient Greeks used to raise, age and transport wine. In recent times this practice has been gaining traction, but it was pretty revolutionary when COS committed to it, and now COS is one of the great wines, and estates in Sicily. The winery, with Giusto Occhipinti, who is Arianna Occhipinti’s uncle, making the wines has been very influential in Vittoria and especially in the Cerasuolo di Vittoria region, they make a number of wines from native varietals, especially Frappato and Nero d’Avola. The 2012 COS Nero di Lupo comes from sandy, clay and limestone soils and is fermented and raised in concrete, Giusto Occhipinti uses temperature controlled cement vats to ferment the Nero d’Avola and there is a lengthy period of skin contact, COS does use mostly used (Neutral) wood barrels to age, and this cuvee is not aged in the clay pots. The COS Lupo is delicate and subtle with chalky stone and mineral tones and some earthy meaty elements come through on the background, but the core of this beautiful wine is blackberry, cherry, strawberry and wild plum fruits. The texture is round, but not heavy, fine tannins and bright acidity add firmness and cut and there is complex layers of spice, savory herbs, truffle and anise as well here, this is a lovely example of artisan Nero d’Avola. The medium weight body and stylish and lengthy finish make you think of Burgundy more than new world, this is very much an old world, old school wine from an impressive and talented group that are passionate about nature and their sense of place, drink from 2014 to 2020.
($35 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive
avail at www.sfwtc.com ($31.95)