Wine Advocate’s “Favorite” Sicilian Red
When you pick up a bottle of COS Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico, you’re not just picking up history and tradition, you’re drinking the realized dream of three men’s life mission. In resurrecting the traditions of ancient Sicily, Giambattista Cilia, Giusto Occhipinti, and Cirino Strano (the C, O, and S of COS) didn’t take the easy way, but the reward can be found in every glass of the 2014 COS Cerasuolo di Vittoria. 94 points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, which called it a “tremendous wine” that “reveals beautiful integrity and elegance.” For those of you partial to Northern Italy’s Piedmontese all-star — the Nebbiolo grape — consider what The Advocate said about this 2014 COS: “It has many elements that recall a young Nebbiolo…” but is less assertive in its youthful hedonism. At $35 per bottle, half the price of a terrific Barolo, this is a bottle you can’t afford to miss out on.
In the late 1970s, outside of the town of Ragusa in southeastern Sicily, Cilia, Occhipinti, and Strano had a dream of reviving one of the world’s most ancient wine cultures, that of ancient Sicily. These three young men wanted to make the wine the old way, focused on biodynamic farming and on the indigenous grape varieties, including the historical blend of Nero d’Avola and Frappato, the Cerasuolo di Vittoria.
In the warm, sun-kissed south of Italy, you might expect something black and burly, but these wines have more in common with the ethereal exoticism of Burgundy than the black, sapid Cabernets of Napa Valley. A vibrant, red-fruited core is at the heart of the “cherry” wine of Victoria, but it’s ringed by an even more wild center of herbaceous and floral aromas that Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate describes as “almost electric.”