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Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico 2010, Azienda Agricola COS ($36.25, 11577391)
A blend of biodynamically and organically farmed Nero d’Avola (60%) and Frappato (40%) from quarter-century vines. Fermentation is with indigenous yeasts and takes place in glass-lined concrete tanks. The varieties are fermented separately: the Nero at 30 to 33ºC, the Frappato at 28ºC. Maturation, which lasts 18 to 24 months, is in oak barrels for the Nero and concrete tanks for the Frappato. Unfiltered and minimally sulphured. 13% ABV.
Dusty cherry and elderberry, sun-baked earth, hints of leather, old wood, tobacco, flowers and licorice. Medium-bodied yet intensely present. The fruit, sweet and silky up front, fades and dries into the mid-palate as tertiary, mineral and earth flavours unspool. The acidity may be low-key but it’s sufficient to keep the wine fresh and buoyant, while the structurally light tannins add a firm astringency. The finish – long, drying and savoury – has an appetizing sour edge. Like all COS wines, this is a model of elegance and balance. The price may be creeping into treat territory but you won’t find a finer, more engaging Cerasuolo di Vittoria. A brilliant pairing for lasagne made from scratch but versatile enough to serve with a wide range of white meats, well-done red meats and deep-flavoured vegetarian dishes. (Buy again? Yes.)

Written by carswell

March 15, 2014 at 13:13

4 Responses

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  1. Hi carswell, how does it fares compared to their 100% Frappato, which I liked very much? More substance, I suppose?


    March 15, 2014 at 17:13

    • Exactly, Antoine. The flavours are more intense, the tannins more astringent and the overall effect a little weightier. There’s more in the way of savoury flavours, too. That said, like the Frappato, it’s still more akin to a Burgundy, say, than to a New World red, which you probably wouldn’t say about Planeta’s fun but quite different Cerasuolo, for example.


      March 15, 2014 at 17:57

    • Frappato is indeed quite lighter, it could compare to Pinot Noir whereas the addition of Nero d’Avola gives it a meatier and sunnier character, not unlike some syrahs in the northern Rhone or very well made stuff from Languedoc (Domaine d’Aupilhac, I’m looking in your direction).

      Very enjoyable, but for the same price, I think I’ll stick with Produttori del Barbaresco! 🙂

      Julien Marchand

      March 15, 2014 at 22:13

      • Ha! Before going with New World, I thought about writing Rhône and the Languedoc but decided they weren’t the right analogies, since both regions produce a number of light-on-their-feet wines. That said, I did find the Cerasuolo to have a Burgundian weight: if the Frappato were a Chambolle-Musigny, say, the Cerasuolo could be a Pommard. Interestingly, tasted the next evening, the tail end of the bottle had gained weight and earthiness.


        March 17, 2014 at 08:34

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