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Valle dell’Acate 2009 Il Frappato (Sicily) – Less adventurous or aspirational than the ones I’ve been drinking from Occhipinti and COS, but still utterly refreshing; like spiky young Beaujolais, except with more flowers and less squeezed-berry fruit. Volcanic? Maybe the power of suggestion. But it’s absolutely delicious while not quite allowing itself to be thirst-quenching…fun, but not too fun. (8/11)

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)

Massachusetts milkshake

Occhipinti 2006 Il Frappato (Sicily) – Red and black raspberries, a touch of volatile acidity, and a nudge of brett. Very pointed and angular. A fun, sprightly wine with zing and zip (though watch those prickly biochemical issues), and one that slashes and hacks through food in a most enjoyable way. This is a very different wine than the one I tasted a year ago, and I don’t know whether to blame evolution or deviation. Or both. In this incarnation, however, an important caveat: it’s not really worth its tariff, which is significant. (2/09)

Pinocchio & frappato

Occhipinti 2006 Il Frappato (Sicily) – Terrific soil aromatics, huge (but ripe) acidity, red strawberry-dominated fruit and red apple skins. Flowers, too. Long, building, and incredibly impressive. Great wine, and still in the first flush of its youth. (1/08)