Another quick review of a new vintage of one of my favourite Sicilian red wines. Cos Pithos Rosso 2015 from Vittoria, made biodynamically from Nero d Avola and Frappato, fermented in Amphorae, and bottled with minimal sulphur additions.
At COS, Giusto Occhipinti’s Pithos Bianco and Pithos Rosso are named after the 400 litre giare or pithos that are buried in the floor of the winery. The white, pure Grecanico, is redolent of wild herbs, whilst the red is an appealingly earthy morello cherry-scented Cerasuolo-style blend.
Some may wonder what exactly is my fascination with amphorae wines? To be honest, I ask myself the same question regularly. But I think I can confidently surmise it’s got something to do with the extra effort and passion required to want to use these ancient, historical vessels to make wine when stainless steel is plentiful; Also the extra complex earthy, savoury dimension that amphorae impart on the wines fermented inside them, if done properly with precision and an eye for cleanliness.
Tasting Note: Brilliant, bright ruby translucent colour. Nose is complex, rich, deep and intricate. Strands of earthy black cherry, violets, red plums and peanut brittle are interwoven with stewed plums, black berry crumble and an earthy, savoury, wild forest berry underlay. This 12 Abv. wine is lush, dense, but boldy vibrant and fresh on the palate, with tannins that are slightly chalky, slightly peppery, and slightly salty. All the earthy fruit notes of black plum, pithy cherry and strawberry compote are wrapped up tightly, seamlessly, with a pleasing red fruit infused herbal tea finish. A wine bursting with energy that I really want to drink. Super amphorae effort! (Wine Safari Score: 94/100 Greg Sherwood MW)