Grapelive: Wine of the Day January 24, 2016

2013COSPithos2013 COS, Pithos Rosso, Vittoria, Sicily, Italy.
Pithos is Giuisto Occhipinti’s amphora raised organic Nero d’Avola and Frappato red blend from Vittoria Sicily, think Cerasuolo di Vittoria meets orange wine, and it is one of the best wines to come out of terra-cotta I’ve ever had. COS has changed to a no wood policy in the cellar with dramatic effects, especially in the Pithos lineup of white and red, so now Occhipinti uses tank, cement and Spanish terra-cotta “Kvervi” egg shaped clay vessel to age his wines. The Pithos Rosso, 60% Nero d’Avola and 40% Frappato, is from de-stemmed grapes aged on the skins in amphora set into the earth for up to a year, and this vibrant and tangy 2013 vintage is a stunner with it’s Georgian influence showing with loads of complex skin tannins and antioxidant accents giving substance and framework to this impressive red. The nose has dried flowers, red currants, Spicy cinnamon stick, chalky earthiness and savory tones that lead to a fine grained palate of spiced plum, black cherry, strawberry and briar laced vine picked berries along with wild herbs, dusty tannins, backed earth/stones, grilled fennel, lavender as well as light red peach and orange marmalade notes. There is about 12% alcohol and a remarkably vibrant and fresh nature to this wine, it is both pleasing and thought provoking, it is a lovely and exotic Sicilian beauty, both this and the white versions are intriguing efforts, I’ve tasted this Pithos red twice, once prior to release with Giusto at a COS seminar in SF with his importer Domaine Select and just last night at home, it has really filled out in the last six months, it has gained detail, depth and is a wonderfully textured wine at this point, drink from 2016 to 2026.
($44 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive