Brett happens

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A new trip down Strada provinciale 68

with 2 comments

This showed up unannounced in 23 SAQ outlets yesterday. What’s more, in contrast to last year’s Occhipintalypse, the outlets involved have received multiple cases. While we may be looking at the first wave of an eventual wider release (the Quebec agent reports that this year’s allocation is 2,400 bottles, nearly 10% of the total production), chances are good it will fly off the shelves. You have been warned.

IGT Sicilia 2012, SP68 Rosso, Arianna Occhipinti ($25.20, 11811765)
A blend (usually 50-50, though one or two Italian sites say the 2012 is 70-30) of organically farmed Nero d’Avola and Frappato from vines averaging ten years of age. Manually harvested. Fermented with indigenous yeasts. Macerated 30 days on the skins with daily pump-overs and punch-downs. Aged six months on the lees in tanks and two months in the bottle. Sees only stainless steel until bottling. Bottled unfiltered, unfined and with minimal sulphur dioxide. 12.5% ABV.
The expected cherry and berries are there but in 2012 they’re sprinkled with freshly ground black pepper and joined by earth, slate, spice (fennel seed?) and a lifting floral note. In the mouth, it’s a fresh and fluid middleweight. The fruit starts out juicy, sweet and bright but is soon darkened by minerals, souring acidity and a light tannic astringency. After the other flavours fade, a faint bitterness lingers, drawing you back for another sip to sweeten the palate and start the cycle anew. As loveable as ever and one of the food-friendliest wines in the universe. (Buy again? In multiples.)

The price has crept up $2.50 from the 2011 sold last November. Yet as a Web search shows, shops in New York City are listing the wine for US$28 and even US$30, and that’s before sales taxes, which are included in the SAQ’s price. The exchange rate may be a factor in the rise, as may Arianna’s growing renown. That said, you can bring the price down to last year’s level by reserving your bottles now and buying them on Friday through Sunday, August 2 through 4, when the SAQ is offering a 10% discount on purchases of $100 or more.

Written by carswell

July 31, 2013 at 10:09

Posted in Tasting notes

Tagged with , ,

2 Responses

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  1. I got to taste the 2012 in my visit at Arianna’s winery last month and it is particularly good. Fresh, light yet full of sun at the same time, I’ll be jumping on that as soon as it hits the shelves… Too bad it’s not getting to Quebec fast enough for the -10% sale of this weekend…

    Julien Marchand

    July 31, 2013 at 11:06

    • Don’t give up hope, Julien. Looks like the wine is still rolling out across the province: the number of outlets is now up to 27 and includes one in Quebec City (the Sélection store at 5015 de l’Ormière has 12 bottles). This will likely continue as other outlets receive, break out and scan the week’s deliveries and enter them in the system, so it’s probably worth your while to keep on checking in the next day or two. Good luck!


      July 31, 2013 at 11:34

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