SP68 Sicilia Rosso IGT 2011
Region: Sicily, Italy
Grape: blend of Nero d’Avola and Frappato
Price: around $25
As promised, my first Sicilian wine from last weekend. I went to dinner at West Bridge, a small plates restaurant in Boston. A bottle on their wine list caught my eye, a blend of the two primary red grapes from Sicily, Frappato and Nero d’Avola. This blend is used for Sicily’s only DOCG, Cerasuolo di Vittoria, but this particular wine is an IGT, the global appellation for Sicily (outside of any DOG or DOCG).
After some research I found out that this wine was made by a wine world star, 30 year old Arianna Occhipinti who’s been making wine in Sicily for the past 10 years (first vintage at 21…) and gathered attention because of her age and commitment to natural, organic methods. She’s the closest thing to a rock star the wine world has. She grows vines and olive trees near Vittoria, in southeastern Sicily and her wines are named SP68 after Strada Regionale 68, the road that runs near her vines. You can find an interview of Arianna here definitely worth a read.
Eye: light to medium ruby
Nose: Clean, light to medium intensity. Red fruit notes along with something smokier, earthier. Not quite tarry but close, earthy comes closest of all the adjectives I can think of.
Palate: dry, medium to high acidity, light to medium body. Medium to intense tannins. Red fruits and spices (Frappato and Nero d’Avola respectively).
The feature of the wine that made an impression has to do with the tannins. There are notdemesurately pronounced in terms of strength but they give the wine a texture that is hard to explain. I’d say it gives the wine a rocky feel. Not in the mineral notes sense like a Chablis, rather the sensation of drinking something that is tight, that holds well together like a rock in your hand. Having been to Sicily I picture the rock as being a little black volcanic thing from the slopes of the Etna. To be honest, it reminded be a bit of hiking those volcanic slopes with sparse vegetation and baking under the sun.
Food pairings: We share some small plates with this wine, carrots in coffee sauce with chickpeas, quinoa salad, brisket with horseradish. The wine supported all of it easily. Lamb comes to mind as a good match too.
Overall opinion: Liked it, I felt like the flavors, notes, aromas took a backseat to the tannins and texture but that was not a bad thing at all.