From: Sicily, Italy
Varietal: Nero d’Avola
Critical Acclaim & Taste: 91 points Monica Larner (Wine Advocate): "The organic Arianna Occhipinti 2020 Sicilia Nero d'Avola Siccagno offers a pretty medley of cherry, dark fruit and a touch of clove. The wine shows background hints of cola, black olive and baked plum. There is a lot of lifted fruit in this wine that leads to a punchy, lively style overall. It is fluid in personality but also lean in texture. Drink 2023-2027 (Jun 2023)."
Details. Siccagno means "good wine" in the local dialect. It is 100% Nero d'Avola from two parcels on white limestone soils with vines averaging 35 years of age. Organically farmed and harvested by hand; destemmed but the berries are left hole; fermented with native yeasts. The wine is aged for two years in 3000-liter Stockinger oak botti before being bottled unfiltered.
From the winemaker. “Siccagno is my Nero d'Avola, born from that concentrated grape that is called Siccagna. The Nero that tells a lot about Sicily, which is wild, but also fresh and elegant, with a flavor of red fruits. That he has something noble and aristocratic, but also melancholy as a poet or a philosopher. Which is passionate, full of human warmth and contrasts. The Nero which is the grape of our fathers and unites Sicily from corner to corner and better captures its spirit for centuries. A wine that I love deeply, and that has always been with me since the first year."
From the importer. In 2006, Joe and Kevin fell in love with the wines of an unassuming 24 year old showing her first vintage at an Italian wine fair. Today, Arianna Occhipinti has become a seminal figure for a new generation of wine lovers. Her rise to prominence has been meteoric, and rightfully so: anyone who has ever met Ari will instantly vouch for her charming personality and seemingly boundless energy. Arianna is the niece of Giusto Occhpinti, whose COS wines are undisputedly amongst the very best of Sicily. In 1998, Giusto invited her to help him out at Vinitaly for four days. Arianna was 16 at the time and knew nothing about wine; the experience was such a good one that she decided to study viticulture and oenology in university. This quickly proved counter-intuitive, since everything she had learned from her uncle (organic viticulture, hand-harvesting, native yeast fermentations) clashed with what she was being taught in school. Undeterred, Arianna started making her own wine with just one hectare of abandoned vines in the commune of Vittoria. Over the years, she has progressively expanded the estate by replanting 10 hectares of the region's indigenous Frappato and Nero D'Avola in selection massale. A few years later, she was able to start renting 50 year old Frappato and 45 year old Nero D'Avola vines, both independently bottled as single varietal/vineyard cuvées. In 2012, an additional eight hectares of 19 year old vines were acquired, which for the time being will be used to produce more of her "SP68". Continually pushing things forward, Arianna built herself a new cellar in 2014, a huge step up from the cramped, chaotic space she used to work in. Besides the obvious advantage of having more space, it has permitted Arianna to start a new regiment of concrete fermentation and aging for both "SP68"'s, which used to to be produced in stainless steel and fiberglass. Some of the tanks are glass lined, some aren't. They are all 2mx2m, and with the way they are set up, the juice can be worked by gravity.
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