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This wine's instantly appealing bouquet of fresh raspberry and strawberry invites you to taste and enjoy. Frappato is native to south-east Sicily and Nicosia have produced a lovely example this year from their own vineyards. If the sun shines, drink it cellar cool.
Product Code: IT23701
View all products by Cantine Nicosia
Nicosia was founded at the end of the 19th century as a wine trader by Francesco Nicosia, and is still run by his great-grandson Carmelo with his sons Francesco and Graziano. Carmelo has been responsible for the recent restructuring of the company’s vineyards: in 2002 he bought six hectares at Trecastagni, on the south-east slopes of Mount Etna overlooking the sea, replanting the land with nerello mascalese and nerello cappuccio for red and catarratto and carricante for white. The volcanic, mineral soils impart a richness to the wine, whereas the altitude here provides lower temperatures, leading to fresher, more elegant character.The family also owns 30 hectares in the province of Ragusa in Vittoria, planted with frappato and nero d’Avola grapes, famous for making the region’s Cerasuolo red wine. This is a green and fertile land with a Mediterranean climate and limestone soils.The large, impressive Trecastagni winery is a result of many years of hard work, and is filled with both stainless-steel tanks and oak barrels, as well as an ultra-modern bottling line. It also has an excellent restaurant that is well worth a visit! The Fondo Filara range we buy is a great example of the company’s values: expressing both Sicilian winemaking tradition and the potential of the area’s native grape varieties.
In ancient times this was the main source of high-quality wines from the peninsula of Italy The Greeks had introduced viniculture through their colonies there and named the bottom half of the peninsula ‘Oenotrai’ or land of wine, and the Romans expanded on the tradition, particularly in the Campania where many wealthy citizens owned vast estates and some of the most famous wines of the empire were made, such as Falernum. Some grape names appear to reflect the Greco-Roman influence (greco, aglianico), though this may be more about folk-memory than fact as there is no ampelographical evidence linking these varieties to any Greek ancient forbears. Campania itself is the area around Naples and Mount Vesuvius. Naturally there are volcanic soils in the vicinity and as the vineyards climb the Apennines there is altitude to cool the grapes as they ripen. As such there is a balancing freshness to the fruity wines. Greco di Tufo, fiano (especially from Avellino) and falanghina are among the best white wines, characterful and perfumed. Of the red varieties it is aglianico that makes the most impressive examples on the volcanic soils of Taurasi, though there is potential promised and realized in other varieties like piedirosso. There are excellent aglianico wines from Basilicata, the once impoverished region on the instep of the Italian boot. Inland on the border with Puglia, round the extinct volcano of Monte Vulture, the aglianico grape performs admirably to produce powerful ageworthy red wines that retain a thread of finesse. Calabria is the toe of the boot, and another region of limited economic development in recent decades. From one end of the province to the other mountains form a spine and, unlike in Campania, the vineyards producing the best wines are on the flat. In particular the DOC of Cirò on the Gulf of Taranto in the east of the province produces perfumed red wines from the indigenous gaglioppo grape.Across the Apennines on the Adriatic coast lies Puglia, a region that has begun to overcome a longstanding reputation for producing wines for bulk export but is now producing a range of fascinating good-value red wines from varieties like negroamaro, primitivo (aka zinfandel in California) and uva di troia. In the right hands all of them are capable of making very fine wines with plenty of ripe fruit, concentration and structure but without the overpowering alcohols that a hot climate and indifferent winemaking once routinely produced. They are also often excellent value. Puglia is largely flat, almost table-like lacking the softening effects of altitude must rely on the air conditioning of the sea and the skill of the winemaker to make balanced wines. Vines are consistently bush trained to retain shade and moisture. The best wines come from the Salento peninsula where the sea is on three sides and the best producers reside. Full-bodied negroamaro from Brindisi and Copertino and primitivo from soils underpinned by limestone in Manduria can be excellent Whites tend to be greco, fiano and minutolo, and there are some well-flavoured rosé wines as a speciality of the region. Whites too are now catching up in quality.Sicily has shown itself to be one of the most forward thinking Italian regions in recent years, with an awakening pride in the quality that can be achieved on this hot, socially complex and culturally saturated island. Sicily was once famous for the fortified Marsala wines that Nelson bought to victual his Mediterranean fleet, but as this fame and the sales that went with it dwindled many producers recognised that there was a need to produce table wines of greater quality. Bulk wine still leaves the island in tankers but there has been something of a revolution in viticulture and viniculture and Sicily now produces some of Italy’s best and most interesting wines. Nero d’Avola has been a conspicuous success, and makes everything from fruity entry-level reds to powerful, ripe and structured reds that can age and is often a major component in high-quality blends with syrah, cabernet and merlot. Mount Etna is a source of fine reds and whites of depth, finesse and zest, grown on the slopes of the famous volcano. Altitude and volcanic soils provide excellent conditions for the local nerello mascalese, nerello cappuccio and carricante (a white grape) vines. The white former mainstays of Marsala production cataratto and grillo are being given their head by winemakers who want them to shine alone and shine they do. Finally there has been a renaissance of interest in the intense, sweet muscat wines of the island of Pantelleria, an island closer to Tunisia than Sicily.Sardinia, until 1708 a Spanish possession, grows several vines that reflect an Iberian heritage. Graciano and mazuelo grow here as bovale sardo and boval grande respectively. Cannonau is grenache/garnacha by another less Spanish name. The grape that the island has exported to other parts is vermentino from which its finest, aromatic and flavoursome whites are made. Mazuelo, better known as carignan, makes the islands best reds called carignano del Sulcis.
"Lovely lighter red with punchy cherry fruit. Something to drink cool and a good alternative to Beaujolais or Loire reds, it certainly has a freshness that one normally finds in more northerly regions."
I would recommend this wine
"wild strawberry, raspberry and just a hint of sweet, spicey clove on the nose give way to cranberry, tart red plum and red cherry on the palate. The tannin is perfectly balanced for the variety and the acidy give a lick of tartness to the ripe fruit as for the alcohol, at 12.5% its perfectly placed. What isn't to like!"
I would recommend this wine
"I've been a fan of Frappato for a number of years and this is why! A wonderful bright and ripe red currant, red cherry and cranberry nose follows through to the palate, the acidity is perfectly balanced and a just a lick of tannin adds some length. Don't dismiss the brisk and bright profile of this lovely little wine as all too often that's what is lacking! Enjoy it at cellar temperature with a plate of antipasto!"
"Lovely lighter red with punchy cherry fruit. Something to drink cool and a good alternative to Beaujolais or Loire reds, it certainly has a freshness that one normally finds in more northerly regions."
100 AWEsome Wines 1st Mar 2018
light-bodied soft and silky red that can be interchanged as a white. Serve it
slightly chilled or at room temperature. Drinks well with spicy food. Sicilians
drink this wine with fish! - Michelle Cherutti-Kowal MW"
The Daily Telegraph 22nd Jul 2017
"I fell in love with
the pretty wild strawberry and red cherry fragrance of this at first sniff. A
glorious, vivacious, lighter red, with a refreshing tang, to drink slightly
chilled on a warm day. - Victoria Moore"
"Having enjoyed another wine from Nicosia - the Etna Rosso Fondo Filara 2011, at the Chester tasting last year I was looking forward to this one. Presumably the buyer recommends it since it is with the mixed Italian red case. Apart from the nose, which started pleasantly fruity before fading, the taste was thin, acidic and frankly undrinkable, as witnessed by 2 friends who poured it away. With and without food it was unpleasant. I kept some of the bottle til later in the evening but there was no improvement. When did the buyer last taste this wine? It does no favour to the Society's reputation."
Mr Simon Ely (10-Oct-2015)
Mr Theo Craig (14-Sep-2015)
"I agree with some of the other members. Light and too acidic. Have still got half a bottle, which I couldn't face drinking.Very disappointing as many of the other Italians have been excellent. Could not recommend to friends.""
Mr Tim Traill (12-Sep-2015)
"I'm with Messrs Mackinnon and Carpenter - thin and disappointing."
Mr Simon Milner (11-Sep-2015)
"Too light and too acidic for our taste. Yes, raspberries and fruit but without enough body to balance. A disappointment because other bottles from the Italian case were classy. Couldn't finish the bottle- very much the exception to our habit and expectation from the Wine Society - would not recommend to friends."
Mr Alistair Mackinnon (07-Sep-2015)
"I don't feel as if I was drinking the same wine as that of the two previous reviewers. Mine was lacking in bouquet, and harsh and acidic on the palate. Couldn't even finish it, in fact. Very unusual to receive such a bottle from The Wine Society."
Dr John G D Carpenter (17-Aug-2015)
"A really delicious summer wine and a much better alternative to Beaujolais - wine gummy with strawberries, blueberries and a hint of melon. What a surprise on the palate!"
Mr Alan Coy (04-Aug-2015)
"A fruity little number, of a similar ilk to Baccolo but with a bit more sophistication. This is the sort of wine to drink with friends when guzzling Italian food - easy drinking and medium bodied."
Mr Jon Milton (23-Jul-2015)
JancisRobinson.com (23rd Nov 2015)
raspberries and apricots. Loads of acidity! Cranberry juice. Fresh, bracing,
such a pep-me-up that it tastes like a health drink. Something almost virtuous
about this! One of your five a day? - Tamlyn Currin"
Belfast Sunday Life (2nd Aug 2015)
"A fabulously fruity
red, bursting with raspberry and blue berry aromas and flavours. It is fresh
and lively, yet smooth and delicious. Serve lightly chilled… great value - Paul Gracey"
Wine-pages.com (7th Aug 2015)
"There are a few
examples of Sicily's charming frappato around now, but this bright purple
example is a corker - that is, it is so flamboyantly perfumed and exuberantly
fruity, which in many ways is what frappato does best. The nose brims with
buoyant, quite Beaujolais notes of summer berry fruits, hedgerow flowers and
exotic hints of clove and spices of the Souk, with a fresh and crisp palate,
only 12.5% alcohol, that surprises by being bone dry and savoury, light on its
feet with a crunch and just a nip of tannic grip. 87/100 - Tom Cannavan"
The Daily Telegraph (8th Aug 2015)
"In summer all my reds
get some form of cooling. But to get the full ice-bucket treatment they need to
be light in weight, low in tannin and high in fruit. Frappato nearly always
fits this brief, as this delicate, outrageously fruity (think of the most
intense strawberries imaginable) and highly quaffable example shows. - Hamish Anderson"
Drinking Outside The Box (12th Aug 2015)
perfumed style, with its earthy raspberry and cherry flavours and fresh finish,
think of it as a southern Italian take on Beaujolais. - Simon Woods "
The Scotsman (15th Aug 2015)
"There are a lot of
properties here - light, subtle aromas of raspberry and blueberry fruits, very
sappy, nervy and highly acidic on the palate, a minerality - which reminded me
of Spain's mencia grape. This hails from near the distinctive mountain town of
Enna. - Rose Murray Brown"
Belfast Newsletter (15th Aug 2015)
sumptuously smooth and very lively. Its exuberantly juicy raspberry and
blueberry flavours were an ideal match to spaghetti with tuna, chilli and
tomato sauce. - Raymond Gleugh"
Decanter (29th Jul 2015)
"The frappato grape
has found a home on Sicily since the 18th centruy and offers a fine alternative
to Beaujolais. Lightly chilled, this is a delectable, summery wine, with dainty
notes of fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, and an uplifting finish. - Christelle Guibert"
Moneyweek (31st Jul 2015)
"A hilariously camp
wine with an ostentatious raspberry-juice nose and a rose petal palate. Amazing
with barbecued fare and also crispy duck pancakes, I love this light-hearted,
chillable, summery red. - Matthew Jukes "
York Press (25th Jul 2015)
"If you’re after a
light-bodied summer red, it might be worth trying a Frappato... a 2014 vintage
from the highly-regarded 117-year-old family-run Nicosia winery (named after
founder Francesco Nicosia, not the capital of Cyprus). It’s a bit dry for my
liking but it’s fresh and blueberry-fruity. They advise to drink it “cellar
cool” but for those of us without cellars, just stick it in the fridge for a
bit on a warm day (yes you really can do that with some reds), or keep it near
ice if in the garden. It’d probably benefit from being left open half an hour
too. Try it with cold meats or maybe even fish if you’re peckish. - Peter Martini"
Kent & Sussex Courier (23rd Jul 2015)
"Also formerly known
as surra or nero capitano, frappato is the variety responsible for some of
Sicily's most enchanting unfamiliar wines. This refreshing 'Beaujolais-esque'
monovarietal version is an impishly tantalising medium-bodied summery red that
works wonders with pizza, chicken and meatier fish dishes. It's explosively
fragrant with notes of cherries, raspberries, blueberries and violets, and
deftly balances fresh fruit with a dark earthiness and really bright acidity.
Pop it in your picnic hamper and drink lightly chilled - it's a real bargain
treat. - James Viner "
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The Society's wine buyers work very closely with our suppliers to determine how best to seal our wines. We list below those closures currently in use with a brief description of each.
A technical cork made up of the remnants from the production of natural corks which are ground down into particles and cleaned and then combined using a food-grade polyurethane glue. A cheaper closure which The Society's buyers discourage suppliers from using.
A technical cork made from cheaper-grade natural cork where the naturally occurring pores are filled with ground down cork particles and then the whole is sealed with a food-grade wax coating. Generally only used for wines with a short shelf-life.
Diam corks look like agglomerate corks but are far superior and are designed to put an end to cork taint and random oxidation. The production process chops cork into pieces and sorts the superior, highly elastic, suberin component from the less elastic lignin, which is discarded. It mixes the suberin with microscopic spheres of the same substance used for contact lenses, which fills the voids between the cork particles reducing porosity to air and increasing elasticity without introducing humidity. Finally the pieces are mixed with a glue and moulded under pressure. The mechanical properties of the cork are guaranteed for a certain minimum number of years depending on the grade of cork - for example Diam 2 is guaranteed for two years; Diam 3, 5 and 10 are also available.
The Champagne cork is 90% agglomerate made from cork off-cuts which are ground down, cleaned, compressed and then glued together with two disks of good quality natural cork glued onto the end which protrudes into the bottle.
Natural corks harvested from the cork oak (Quercus suber) forests in Spain and Portugal have been the closure of choice for wine for the 300 years. The bark of the cork oak is stripped from mature trees every nine years. The planks are stored and then cleaned and graded before the corks are punched out of the wood. For wines destined for long-ageing, high-grade natural corks are still the closure of choice.
Cost-effective synthetic 'corks' made from food-grade plastic with a silicone coating (similar to that used on natural corks). Generally used for wines for short-term cellaring.
A glass stopper with a plastic 'O' ring which acts as an interface between the top of the bottle and the stopper, held in place by a metal, tamper-proof seal. Relatively expensive as a closure and not widely used. Can be removed by hand.
A short natural or agglomerate cork with a plastic or wooden top to enable the stopper to be removed by hand. Traditionally used for whiskies, sherries, Madeira etc.
Aluminium alloy screwcaps made with an expanded polyethylene wadding for the lining. Screwcaps are also known as ROTEs (roll-on tamper evident) or by the brand name (Stelvin is a popular brand). Widely used in Australia and New Zealand and for wines for short-term cellaring. Becoming increasingly sophisticated in terms of allowing differing levels of permeability so mimicking the properties of natural cork offering winemakers more choice depending of the style of wine being made. There is still a lack of sound data regarding the performance of screwcaps for longer-term cellaring.
This is an agglomerate cork with a disk of good-quality natural cork adhered to both ends. A reasonably priced, reliable alternative to natural cork.
This is the metal pilfer-proof cap usually used to seal beer bottles but also used in the production of Champagne and sparkling wine when wines are stored under crown cap before the dosage is added. A few producers use crown caps to seal wine bottles. Open with a standard bottle opener.
Jamie Goode has written an excellent book on the subject of closures for those wishing to find out more (Wine Bottle Closures, Flavour Press).
Alcohol by volume%
Units per standard bottle
The Society includes the alcohol by volume percentage figure for each wine available online, in Lists and offers.
It is generally accepted that alcohol levels in wine have been increasing in the last 20 years. There are many reasons why, but the single most important factor is the vast improvement in vineyard management techniques which have resulted in healthier, riper fruit being harvested. Alcohol is a by-product of the fermentation of sugars in the grapes and the best-quality wines are made from grapes that have reached physiological ripeness (colour, flavour and tannin), and this generally happens after sugar ripeness.
There are several techniques that can be used to reduce alcohol levels but currently most are intrusive and strip flavour as well as alcohol and we don't buy wines made in this way. In actual fact, more than half of our still table wines have an abv of 13% or less. Members looking to choose wines with lower levels of alcohol can now search our range by level of alcohol.
Excellent-quality wine is at the heart of everything we do at The Wine Society and balance is the single most important feature of quality. The interaction of a wine's main components of sugar, acidity, tannin, alcohol and flavour matter more than the actual level of alcohol. A well-made wine of 14.5%, for example, will taste more balanced than an inferior-quality wine with 10% alcohol. Furthermore, alcohol levels are only a guide to a wine's fullness: a 12.5% cabernet sauvignon may feel heavier and more full-bodied in the mouth than, say, a gamay of 13.5%. Members should refer to the wine's tasting note for a description of the style and fullness of the wine.
The Society is committed to promoting the responsible enjoyment of wines and spirits by providing relevant information to our members that allows them to make their own informed choices. An additional figure is beginning to be used on labels: the number of (UK) units of alcohol contained in that bottle. This is simply the alcohol by volume percentage multiplied by the content. Thus a 13% wine in a standard 75cl bottle will have 9.7 units of alcohol. All new labels of Society and Exhibition wines will include this information. drinkaware.co.uk
The Society's buyers provide recommended drink dates for all of our wines to help members decide the right time to pop the cork.
Should be drunk over the coming months, certainly within the year.
Now to 2020
Ready to drink now but will keep until 2020.
2020 to 2042
We recommend keeping longer before opening. In 2020 it will be ready to drink but still young and will keep until 2042. It's a matter of personal taste when such wines should be drunk. Many members prefer to try the wines over many years from the opening drink date to the last to watch the wine evolve.
Within one year of purchase
A non-vintage wine that should be drunk within 12 months.
Within two years of purchase
A non-vintage wine that is ready now but will keep for two years.
As a general rule, most everyday white wines are best enjoyed within a year of purchase, and most everyday reds within two years.
Certain fine wines, however, those with the right structure and balance, have the ability to evolve over time and gain complexity and finer nuances of flavour.
Savouring the wonderfully complex and intense bouquet and flavour of a wine drank at its peak is undoubtedly one of life's greatest pleasures. As with people, the ageing process will vary from wine to wine. Over the years the wine's primary aromas of fresh fruit will develop more complicated and persistent secondary and tertiary aromas. The fruity flavours of, for example, a premier cru white Burgundy will, over time, evolve buttery, toasty and yeast aromas, or fine reds may develop coffee, cedar, tobacco, vegetal, or even 'animal' flavours as they age.
There is much pleasure to be had by experimenting with bottles at different stages of maturity; finding out how a wine evolves with age and, perhaps more importantly, establishing your own preference in terms of taste for mature wine are all part of the interest and excitement of cellaring wine.
The drinking window we provide is a guide to when the wines will be at their best. Many will favour the wines in the youthful early stages of their development; others will enjoy the wines at their most mature.
Decanting is a useful way of softening the tannins, rounding out the flavours and releasing the potential of a young wine. To find out more please visit our Serving Wine guide.
The Society's purpose-built, temperature-controlled Members' Reserves offers members access to optimum storage conditions for their wines.
For more help and advice about how best to enjoy your wines contact us via our enquiry form.
Oak plays a very important role in the production of wine throughout the world. However, the level of oak detectible in a wine can vary depending on a number of factors – for example, the age and size of the barrel and the type of oak used, as well as the length of time the wine is aged in wood. Oak also influences the structure and tannins of the final wine. For wines on our website, we use the following classifications:
This suggests that a wine has either seen no oak at all, or may have been produced using very large, old oak barrels, resulting in a wine that has no taste of oak. Expect these wines to be crisp, fruit-forward and aromatic.
Some oak has been used in the production, yet it has not been a defining factor in the style of the wine. In this instance, the oak may have played more of a part in the structure of the wine but there will still be discreet flavours associated with the use of new oak.
Wines that are defined by and known for their use of new oak. This must not be confused with a wine which is 'overly oaky' as that would purely be down to bad winemaking! We buy only wines that, we believe, use oak in a balanced and appealing way, enhancing flavour and complexity, and/or imparting structure.
How detectable oak is depends a good deal on the size of the barrel and how new it is. New oak provides a much more evident flavour and aroma and must be used carefully. The size of the barrel is important, as the smaller the barrel, the more surface area of the wine is in contact with the wood and the more flavour will be drawn out. Often, very large old oak barrels are used, which impart little or no oak flavour to the wine at all. They will still bring an extra dynamic to the final taste of a wine though, when compared to stainless steel or concrete vessels, as oak is porous and therefore lets a small amount of air into the barrel. This controlled oxidation has a positive effect on wines, softening the tannins and developing secondary flavours, all helping to add a complexity which comes with age.
There are many ways that people rate wines, whether it is on the 100 or 20 point scales, 5 stars, 3 glasses or simply thumbs up or down. The pleasure of a bottle of wine is hard to express in figures, but it does help give the memory of that wine a context, and a way of sharing your opinion with others.
In response to members' requests we have added a star rating option to the site so you can mark your favourites, or maybe those occasional less-than-welcome experiences, and make your next order easier.
You can use the 5-star rating tool to record your experiences however you wish, but if you are looking for some guidance we believe that a focus on the 'value' of the wine takes into account the quality but also the pleasure it provided, and whether it is something you would recommend to friends.