February 2016 Selection

Cos, Vittoria!

February 2016 Selection

Cos Pithos Rosso 2014 (2 bottles)
Cos Cerasuolo di Vittoria 2013 (2 bottles)
Cos Nero di Lupo 2014 (2 bottles)

Normal retail price: £85.61
Club Discount Price: £75.38
You save: £10.23 (11.95%)

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About this selection...

Sicily is without a shadow of a doubt one of Italy's most interesting wine-growing regions.

Once the heavier wines of times past had been abandoned, in recent years the region has moved towards more elegant, subtle and vibrant wines. Behind the change in this trend lies the hard work of certain producers, most of whom are to be found in the Vittoria area, who have rediscovered and given an impetus to native varieties and traditional production methods.

A case in point, and representative of all this, is provided by the Cos winery, the focus of our selection. Founded in the 1980s, Cos is currently directed by Giusto Occhipinti, uncle of the highly-regarded producer of natural wines, Arianna Occhipinti, and by Giambattista Cilia, two architects who during their studies embarked upon the project to make wines in Vittoria, adhering to the dictates of Nature.

Cos is nowadays one of Italy's most admired wineries. A pioneer of biodynamic viticulture in the south, it possesses 30 hectares of vineyards and makes its wines by utilising native yeasts and without adding sulphur dioxide. In addition, Cos is responsible for the rebirth of a great wine, the Cerasuolo de Vittoria, a red well-known and esteemed all over the world due to its body and fragrance, obtained from the Frappato and Nero d'Avola varieties, and which the winery offers in several versions, the most famous one made in large terracotta jars.

The Cos wines featured in our selection are this Cerasuolo de Vittoria Classico, the company's introductory wine; Pithos Rosso, a Cerasuolo de Vittoria vinified and aged in terracotta amphoras; and Nero di Lupo, a Nero d'Avola which encapsulates all the characteristics of the winery's work: quality, spontaneity, integrity... All of them authentic Mediterranean wines, with sweetness and acidity balanced well, and offering all the flavour of the Vittoria terroir. Make sure you get to try them.

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Cos Pithos Rosso 2014 (2 bottles)

Red. Azienda Agricola Cos Vittoria, Italy Frappato, Nero d'Avola

Bottle: £13.58 club members / £15.42 non-members


Pithos Rosso is made from a blend of Frappato and Nero d'Avola, two of Italy's native varieties which complement each other aromatically, the first with floral and spicy notes and the second with other more earthy and balsamic hints. The grapes ferment by means of indigenous yeasts, in terracotta amphoras wedged into the ground in order to keep the temperature and humidity constant. In ancient times, ceramic containers were used when producing wine, but obviously at some point the use of wood and steel became preferable. Cos has been the first Sicilian winery to reintroduce this ancient tradition, since terracotta also allows the wine to breathe, yet unlike oak, it doesn't alter it. The winery thus follows a business philosophy focused on the production of natural wines and on the preservation of the individual characteristics possessed by the vineyard and terroir.

Pithos Rosso enables us to savour the Vittoria terroir in all its flair and intensity, to taste its fruit and the minerality of its soils. In the glass, it appears a bright red colour and at first exudes aromas of flowers and red fruits. An open nose that makes its presence known, with an aromatic bouquet in which also figure wild mushrooms and undergrowth, aromatic herbs, and a minerality that heralds a most pleasant and flavoursome wine.

On the palate, it again emphasises the fruit and the soil, vigorously and resolutely. A wine that has brisk acidity, that's fruity and earthy, fragrant, full of life and cheerfulness.

  • Alcohol content: 12,5%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 16ºC and 18ºC
  • Drink now or keep until 2028.

Cos Pithos Rosso 2014
Front and back

Cos Cerasuolo di Vittoria 2013 (2 bottles)

Red. Azienda Agricola Cos Cerasuolo di Vittoria, Italy Nero d'Avola, Frappato

Bottle: £13.57 club members / £15.42 non-members


Cerasuolo di Vittoria is the emblematic wine of Cos, the winery belonging to Giusto Occhipinti and Giambattista Cilia, and offers one of the best interpretations of this denomination. Made from the Nero d'Avola (60%) and Frappato (40%) varieties, the first grape ages in oak barrels and the second in concrete tanks. The result is a rich wine, yet delightfully smooth, expressive and vibrant. In the glass it appears a deep ruby-red colour and emanates equally profound aromas: dried flowers, red fruits, spices, damp earth, on a background of bushes and Mediterranean undergrowth. An intense, precise, refined and elegant bouquet.

On the palate, it comes over as uniform, supple, light, and graceful. Flavoursome and invigorating, it offers a great variety of notes which highlight flowers again, forest fruits and pipe tobacco. Rounded, and in extremely good condition, it has a long persistence with hints of almonds.

Velvety and well-balanced, a tremendously appealing and irresistible wine.

Roasted poultry

  • Alcohol content: 13,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 16ºC and 18ºC
  • Drink now or keep until 2025.

Cos Cerasuolo di Vittoria 2013
Front and back

Cos Nero di Lupo 2014 (2 bottles)

Red. Azienda Agricola Cos Sicilia, Italy Nero d'Avola

Bottle: £10.54 club members / £11.97 non-members


Nero di Lupo comes from vineyards planted with the Nero d'Avola variety, aged about 12 years old and grown organically. The wine ferments and ages in concrete tanks, and thanks to a production process that treats the grapes with great respect, it gives rise to an excellent interpretation of this variety. A fragrant, rich and elegant wine which has a surprisingly low alcohol content.

Appearing ruby-red in colour, once poured in the glass it reveals a bouquet which highlights aromas of plums, cherry compote, dried roses and violets, Chai tea, liquorice, cloves, Mediterranean undergrowth and damp leaves. A darkish mix, but warm, intense and elegant too.

On the palate, it proves delicious, sensual and mysterious. It conveys a feeling of richness and depth, although it does this with sweetness and lightness, a characteristic shared with the rest of the Cos wines. The palate emphasises its darkness and elegance, whilst the velvety smoothness becomes the ideal counterpoint to its acidity. Rounded and vibrant, it highlights on the palate the fruit's sweetness, the spicy suggestions and a minerality that has touches of iron and ashes. An intense yet light wine which is balanced, harmonious, perfumed and persistent.

  • Alcohol content: 13,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 16ºC and 18ºC

Cos Nero di Lupo 2014
Front and back

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