Located in Sicily ’s south-eastern Val di Noto province, the Occhipinti family is synonymous with the Frappato grape that underpins Siciliy’s only DOCG: Cerasuolo di Vittoria. Arianna kicked off in 2004, making wines in a family farmhouse, before transferring, in 2013, to a purpose-built winery, where her 22 hectares of Frappato and Nero d’Avola, along with one-and-a-half hectares of intense Albanello and Zibibbo white grapes, are vinified using cement and Stockinger barrels (Slavonian, German, Austrian oak).
Spotlighting Sicily’s most important red grape, the 2016 Nero d’Avola Siccagno offers a beautiful balsam note that transcends all that dark fruit at the core. I came back to this bottle a few hours after I had opened it, and my positive impressions were strongly reinforced. That pretty balsamic character is in line with young Nero d’Avola. Perhaps in less-refined expressions of the grape it comes off clumsily and unbalanced. Instead, this wine has harnessed the most elegant side of the grape with rosemary essence and caper flower. [91 Points, Monica Lerner – December 2018, robertparker.com]