COS Nero di Lupo IGT Sicilia 2010
Region: Sicily, Italy
Grape: 100% Nero d’Avola
Price: around $29
The second Sicilian wine of the weekend was served blind by a friend over diner and of course I fumbled the tasting pretty bad! I didn’t even come close on the variety or the region. Turns out the wine came from COS in Sicily, the winery that did the Pithos Bianco that I liked so much. They’re based in Vittoria, (Southeastern Sicily) like Occhinpinti. It’s a relatively recent winery that uses biodynamic methods, no chemicals, only natural yeasts and small amounts of SO2. The name of the wine, Nero di Lupo means Black of the Wolf, I’m not sure it sends the right message, wolves are scary, but let’s not dwell on semantics.
Eye: light to medium ruby
Nose: Clean, medium intensity, red and black fruits along with something deeper, more elusive that reminded me of Burgundy reds (clearly I was wrong).
Palate: dry, medium to high acidity, light to medium body, medium tannins.
That’s a smooth wine. The Nero d’Avolas I had before were a little on the rougher sides with intense tannins and a darker, more powerful feel. This wine is one smooth Nero d’Avola. Aromas of red fruits are present but the wine is also well structured and really, I couldn’t get past the smoothness. I actually thought it might be a Pinot Noir from Burgundy which was of course way off but it gives you a rough idea of how much I was impressed. It reminded me of a late summer afternoon on a Syracuse terrace watching the quiet sea lapping around Ortiggia.
Food pairings: I had it with spicy Italian sausage and pasta in tomato sauce. I think it’s a great pasta wine and it would work with any Sicilian or Southern Italian dish.
Overall opinion: I learned two things by drinking this wine; first, I need to step up my tasting game. Second, I definitely like the COS winery, I’ll try to get my hands on a bottle of their Cerasuolo di Vittoria (the one Sicilian DOCG) for instance that was reviewed by the Wine Wankers a while ago.They described it as “strangely interesting”’ it sounds about on par for the course for COS wines.