Vittoria, Sicily, Italy
60% Nero d’Avola & 40% Frappato
Giusto Occhipinti of COS is a benchmark producer in the Vittoria appellation of Sicily, and certainly one of the most important, influential, producers in all of Sicily if not Italy as a whole. The winery was founded in 1980 by three friends, Giambattista Cilia, Giusto Occhipinti, and Cirino Strano. The initials of their last names form the winery’s name.
The winery itself dates back to the 1880’s during a period in which there was huge demand for Sicilian wines. Phylloxera had already devastated many of the world’s top wine growing regions but it had not yet reached the island. Sicily has a long history of winemaking, dating back to the 8th century BCE when the Greeks first planted grapes in the eastern part of the Island. It is only more recently though that true top quality wines and winemaking have arrived there. It was through the hard work and dedication of producers such as COS who showed the potential of Sicily’s terroir and drew attention to the island, especially its ability to produce complex, pure and fresh wines, despite its location at the very southern tip of Italy.
93pts - Wine Advocate
"Immediately open and generous from the start, the 2017 Vittoria Pithos Rosso (60% Nero d'Avola and 40% Frappato) does not need much coaxing before it releases its pretty aromas of wild berry, rose hip, pressed violet and moist earth. This vintage is contained, considering the heat and dryness of the growing season with a lovely sense of elegance and deep inner poise. That pretty floral signature is especially defining in this vintage. It's almost as if the warm year has produced even greater elegance and finer lines. It's counterintuitive for sure, but the results are there. This is a real treat. Serve it alongside some chopped fried eggplant, salt and rosemary. About 12,000 bottles were made."