Native to the townlands of Vittoria, in the province of Ragusa, southeast Sicily, FRAPPATO (Di Vittoria) is now firmly fixed on THENATIVEGRAPES radar. Thanks to Arianna Occhipinti
No doubt there are local reasons, both cultural and enological, that will explain why this grape has never really been one to be given centre stage.
However, since her first vintage in 2004, one particular Sicilian enologist & winemaker, Arianna Occhipinti, has taken it upon herself to champion this thin skinned variety’s capacity to produce high quality 100% varietal red wines.
Oddly enough though, to produce a 100% varietal today, it seems all local producers including Arianna must take a step back from Italy’s more recognised quality DOC/DOP classification regulations.
Why? We stand to be corrected on this but it appears the regs don’t allow Frappato monovarietals any higher than an IGT/IGP (Identificazione Geografica Tipica/Protetta). On the quality ladder, IGT/IGP is the ‘supposed’ step below the DOC / DOP standard. Note how we emphasize… ‘supposed’ !!
Yeah, ’nuff said. Take it from us, in this case, the rules have little or no bearing on the outstanding QUALITY you’ll encounter upon tasting Occhipinti’s Frappato. That’s entirely down to Occhipinti and her team.
Thankfully for all of us, rather than be hindered by the binds of dated thinking, Arianna’s rebellious heart has guided her on the path to wine-making freedom, seizing the liberty to create a unique, identifiable wine of exceptional Quality.
In fact, the Quality of IL FRAPPATO 2013 is so high, in our view the bottle label needs nothing more than the name of its talented winemaker, OCCHIPINTI, to tell us exactly what we need to know about its ALL STAR nature.
Light Ruby Red with a glint of garnet on the rim. In a single swirl its consistency shows well.
Simply put, the nose is intense, complex and oh so elegant. Wild floral perfumes with quite concentrated ripe red fruit notes, a touch of granny’s fresh homemade raspberry jam for us, seashore stones, then red plums together with some delicate balsamic and fresh menthol notes. Yeah, it really is fragrant and aromatic on so many levels. All the way from ‘primary’ through ‘secondary’ to ‘evolving tertiary’ notes. As it opens further we’d add rose, a little scented wood and a leafy olive tree rub. We’ve never had a leafy olive tree rub before but this will give you an idea :) All in all, beautifully trippy.
Dry, soft, rounded medium body, perfectly balanced fresh acidity and velvety tannins that glide across the palate. This Frappato is balance, integration and elegance ‘par excellence’. It really has so much personality, harmony and let’s say it – ‘sensuality’, all of which no doubt come from the educated, cultured and creative hands of the winemaker herself. Wonderful mineral support too that helps deliver and sustain it’s length with a lovely peppery persistence towards the finish. As an unfiltered wine you’ll find all of its beauty is retained in the glass including the natural deposit. Think of this as an extra gift from nature.
But perhaps not just yet.
Afterall, as fresh as this ALL STAR REBEL still is in the spring of 2016, it should still have another few important ‘evolutionary’ twists and turns to perform.
Assuming, of course, one can resist the temptation of it’s Big Time Sensuality.