DECEMBER DIRT - HORUS VITTORIA FRAPPATO 2018
Horus Vittoria Frappato 2018 - $34.99
Though we try pretty hard not to directly compare new producers with ones with whom we are very familiar, the reason many of us are passionate about Sicilian wine can be summed up with two names: Occhipinti and COS. These two estates were pioneers of natural farming and winemaking, not to mention speaking loudly for the importance of native varieties, Frappato in particular. When we first
tasted the wines from our newest producer, Horus, we felt as though we had discovered the last producer in the triumvirate of great Sicilian wine. Though their bread and butter, like that of both Occhipinti and COS, is Frappato, they craft a wonderfully elegant Nero d’Avola which we’ll also explore.
Though it has skyrocketed to new heights in recent years–and has been important to winemaking in the Vittoria region for centuries, Frappato was virtually unknown until very recently. Thanks in part to the aforementioned producers doing their best to make a case for the excellence of the grape, we are now in a world in which Frappato might just be the new Beaujolais. Horus’ lovely iteration hails from Vittoria, from vines in the Ragusa sector planted to sandy soils. It is fermented with native yeasts after being destemmed entirely and is subsequently aged in neutral vessels. The expression is as classic as it gets with a highly unique flavor profile highlighting notes of bright red cherry, red currant alongside herbal notes of mint, anise, and white pepper. Light and ethereal while also being concentrated and complex, it is a tremendous example of power without weight, one of the most elusive qualities found in the best wines. Though Frappato can pair with just about anything, perhaps the best pairing is fatty white fish, where you might otherwise reach for a full-bodied white.