Sometimes a grape variety you've never heard of is EXACTLY what you need to break out of your palate routine/rut. And, as always, Italy is just loaded to the brim with ancient local gems that have little exposure to the outside world except for travelers. The odd sounding Frappato grape is a mainstay of the southeastern end of Sicily, focused mainly around the city of Vittoria. It has been a bit of a forgotten grape in comparison to the critical success of Nerello Mascalese in Etna and the popular success of Nero d'Avola from the rest of the island. Relative to many other Italian reds it tends to be a lot more fruit forward, almost juicy, with a profile similar to many of the Puglian wines. But the polish and natural class gives the variety a lot higher quality ceiling, and we are starting to see more and more remarkable bottlings like this appear with greater frequency.
The first sniff will draw in many fans of Zinfandel with its warm and spicy red fruit aromas, not sweet or candied in any way, and definitely no signs of heat that the bigger Zins can carry (this is poised nicely at a restrained 13%abv). As it opens the aroma gains some of the darker, blacker fruits and some anise and pepper, fascinatingly changing every time the glass is swirled. On the palate there is no sign of extraction or sweetness, lots of juicy red fruits but back by dark yet very fine tannins that really pull out the black fruits and peppery tones through the finish. We recommended this over Thanksgiving for an off-beat 'catch all' type wine, as the juicy side works with a wide range of cuisine, but it shines at its best with hearty red sauces.
The Best of the Best.
We offering free tastings on these wines in the store every Thursday and Friday, and a 10% discount off the retail price through the duration of the day. Come on by and give them a try!