Arianna Occhipinti is from the Vittoria region of Southern Sicily. She has been making wine for ten years under the tutelage of her uncle, Giusto Occhipinti, who owns the well-known winery COS. She produces first rate wines from biodynamically grown local varieties such as Nero d’Avola and Frappato. In her mid-20s, Arianna already seems to know exactly what she wants to do with her life. She is the sort of driven young winemaker who is bound to be become an important figure in Sicilian wine.
Nero d’Avola is the primary red grape of Sicily, and while capable of making very fine wine, most examples tend to be a bit ordinary. Many expressions of the varietal tend to be over extracted and muscular. Occhipinti’s is soft at its core, refined and almost feminine — while still retaining some of the heartier elements expected from the grape. Dark ruby garnet in color. Nose of dark cherry, earth with some brett (eau de merde) and clove. On the palate, bright, tart and acidic with dark cherry, currant, rhubarb and a little twizzler. Pure fruit, chalky minerality with earth and vegetal notes.
This might not reach the same heights as her Frappato, but I thought it really was a lovely bottle of wine — and it shows a unique expression of the Nero D’Avola varietal articulated by a very gifted winemaker. 13% alcohol. Imported by Louis/Dressner Selections. Recommended.