Wines to Seek Out
Azienda Agricola COS “Zibibbo in Pithos” Terre Siciliane
The grape known in Sicily as Zibibbo (aka Moscato di Alessandria) has a lengthy history on the island which transcends wine. Delicious off the vine, their yields were often used for raisin production until seedless grape production emerged in the 20th century. COS’s amphora-fermented Zibibbo brings forth the apricot, orange blossom and grassiness of this compelling grape, but with an iron-like edge of minerality that is distinctive.
Azienda Agricola COS “Pithos Bianco” Terre Siciliane
Appearances can be deceiving. With COS’s Pithos Bianco — a skin-contact Grecanico that sees time in amphorae — the amber color betrays the cherry and red tea aromas that one normally associates with a light red wine. The alcohol levels here (and in the “Zibibbo in Pithos”) can be absurdly low, which gives these wines less structure than some may want. But that power is made up for with assertive aromas and flavors.
Azienda Agricola COS Frappato Terre Siciliane
This was my first ever taste of COS and Frappato, and I frankly didn’t know what I was tasting. Well, I did: cooked strawberries and herbs, or at least, that’s what it reminded me of. It was certainly unlike any other wine I'd had until that point. Fast-forward a decade and I’ve since come to appreciate the diversity of Frappato, and now recognize that COS’s version is truly a benchmark.
Azienda Agricola COS “Nero di Lupo” Terre Siciliane
My favorite COS wine is the racy, brooding yet somehow light “Nero di Lupo,” which puts a whole new spin on Nero d’Avola by offering agility and a mineral texture on the finish. If you enjoy Cru Beaujolais, this wine will likely hit the sweet spot for you.
Azienda Agricola COS Cerasuolo di Vittoria
COS’s most internationally styled wine is also its most serious, the Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG. Mandated to be a blend of Frappato and Nero d’Avola that is aged in oak, COS also makes a companion, the Pithos Rosso, which is aged in clay amphorae, but labeled as a Terre Siciliane IGT. Here on the Cerasuolo di Vittoria, the raspberry-like tones offer a good balance of sweet and sour, while a peppery tinge adds life to a profile of exuberant acidity.