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COS & effect

COS 2008 Frappato (Sicily) – My hand-in-your-wine-geek-card secret is that, bottle for bottle, I prefer this to the middle initial’s neice’s frappato, due to a more developed and complex character and far fewer problems with brettanomyces and/or volatility. I think there’s more upside potential in Arianna’s wine, but it’s not realized consistently enough (and I should note that I’m speaking only of the frappato here, not the range). As for this version, black raspberry and boysenberry snap crackles with energy without bursting beyond its boundaries. There’s dusty black earth with gentler grey tones and a long, welcoming finish. An assured wine. (8/11)

The COSby show

COS 2007 Frappato (Sicily) – Volatile acidity, first and foremost. Thankfully, it fades a bit, and then there’s strawberry and grayish-white minerality. A very delicate wine. The minerality grows with air, but I’d like a little more aromatic interest here. Juicy acidity. The finish is a little reminiscent of a prune eau-de-vie. (5/10)

COS & effect

[grapes]COS 2007 Cerasuolo di Vittoria (Sicily) – Delicious. There’s a shyness, but it’s not that the wine’s holding anything back. Rather, it teases and asks you to come to it, rather than the opposite, but the reward is an enveloping, seductive softness of rich, warm southern fruit…not heavy, not dark, not understructured, but definitely not Alpine or Teutonic in nature. Slowly-unfolding layers of earth and sapid fruit are the reward for boldness and patience in equal measure. Yum. (2/10)

Ramí Martin

[vineyard]COS 2007 “Ramí” (Sicily) – A blend of insolia and grecanico. An exotic nose of je ne sais quoi. Really, I have absolutely no idea what to call these aromas. They’re lovely, though. The palate is wet and clean, but not up to the promise of the nose, and with aeration (an hour or so) the wine gets a little bit ponderous. It does seem to need a bit more chill than the weight might otherwise indicate. (1/09)

Wolf whistle

[grapes]COS 2005 “Nuro di Lupo” Nero d’Avola (Sicily) – Smells like Sicily. Not the dirty part, but the rich, everything-grows-wild-everywhere countryside, with a deep foundation and a swaggering black minerality layered with berries, leaves, and more rich soil. Beautiful. (9/08)

COS, bee, show

[label]COS 2005 Cerasuolo di Vittoria (Sicily) – Reliable as hell, showing pie fruit and mixed powdered peppercorns in clay, with a not-insignificant swath of cèpe. Open, but with structure; this could age for a little while, I think. The problem is not drinking it in the interim, because it’s quite tasty. (6/08)

You’re either Pithos or you’re Againstos

[bottle]COS 2005 Cerasuolo di Vittoria “Pithos” (Sicily) – A blend of frappato and nero d’avola, farmed in biodynamie, fermented in amphora, and bottled without sulfur. In other words, asking for trouble at every stage. Good thing the wine is majestic. It’s not easy to love, with a more tightly-wound presence than the regular Cerasuolo di Vittoria and a more upfront structure (particularly the acidity, which is vibrant), and in point of fact I’d rather drink the normale right now, though I suspect this will end up better in the long run. The fruit is very concentrated, but for all that surprisingly light and laser-like, with a narrow beam of red-shifted berries and crystals pulsing at the subatomic level. Then there’s a layer of grey earth, or perhaps it’s something more metallic…enveloping but not containing. This is a fascinating wine, deserving of much more attention that I was able to give it here, at a conversational dinner in a crowded restaurant. (12/07)