Last November, I took a trip to Sicily, in search of Cerasuolo di Vittoria…a little-known red wine that I have been coveting for about ten years. In fact…it is my favorite Sicilian red of all! It is made in the southeast corner of Sicily, around the town of Vittoria (the other part of the name, Cerasuolo, means “the cherry-like one”). By law, the wine must have two grape varieties in it: Nero d’Avola (famous on its own as a Sicilian varietal), and Frappato. Over the course of my love affair with Cerasuolo di Vittoria, I started to notice that ones made by some producers are rather dark and heavy…these would be the ones made with a dominant percentage of Nero d’Avola! Some Cerasuolos, on the other hand, are much more graceful, fragrant, easy-to-drink…and these, of course, emphasize the much less well-known grape variety, Frappato.
Can’t you just guess: I’m a Frappato boy!
To my great delight, I found in Sicily that Frappato made all on its lonesome, not combined with Nero d’Avola…is a hot wine, with its own DOC, simply “Frappato.”
At last November’s tasting in Vittoria of wines from about 30 local vintners, the graceful wines of one producer stood out to me: Antonio Paternó, of Paternó di Vittoria. Antonio is a wine-loving accountant who started making wine fairly recently…but he sure has the magic! It doesn’t hurt that his consultant is Massimo Maggio, who is the head of the local consorzio for Cerasuolo di Vittoria. Together, Antonio and Massimo make beautiful wine, organic, not imported yet…until now!
I’ve just brought in the Paternó 2012 Cerasuolo di Vittoria, a fabulous wine, about which you’ll be hearing more. But this week…the week of Beaujolais Nouveau!…I think you should be sampling another of my imports, Antonio’s 100% Frappato…and comparing with the French juice!
Extremely light ruby in the glass. Lovely young Beaujolais-like fruit—though a little more on the dried-fruit side—with just a touch of sandalwood. Fabulously light and graceful, with wonderfully refreshing cranberry-like acidity. A little richer and more complex in the palate-caressing finish. Remember: this is Beaujolais-style southern wine. If you’re thinking it’s more satisfying than most simple-style Beaujolais…that’s what I’m thinking!
If you chill it, you can serve it with just about any food you like at any party!