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(2023) This organic Frappato from Sicily comes from distinctive red soils ('Rina Russa'), the grape native to this south-easterly part of the island. It spends 4-6 months in stainless steel tanks with regular stirring of the fine lees. Best served lightly chilled, Frappato makes a very pale coloured wine, almost like a Tavel or other very dark rosés. It is so aromatic: floral for sure, with an almost geranium perfume, some chestnut and bright red fruits. In the mouth a strawberry sundae sweetness, but it is all fruit, not residual sugar, a hallmark of this variety. A layering of spicy, subtle tannin and elegant framework of acidity balance that pretty sweetness to finish with some depth. Something very much out of the ordinary and could be a summer sensation. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2023) From south eastern Sicily, the Nero d'Avola is grown organically and the wine made without the addition of sulphur, in something close to 'natural wine' requirements. There's a vivid pink tinge to the purple colour, and a nose of cherries, pomegranate and light earthiness. In the mouth a burst of sweet fruit as it strikes the palate, then orange and tangy citrus in a light- to medium-bodied format. The wine stays crisp and refreshing despite its 14% alcohol, which really doesn't make its presence felt save for a touch of heat in the finish. Attractively drinkable with pizza or a burger perhaps.
(2022) A Sicilian wine bottled in what Laithwaites is describing as 'wild glass' - 100% post-consumer recycled glass. A bright cherry colour, lifted and beaujolais-like cherry and raspberry aromas with a touch of floral character. Very juicy and pretty, a similar marriage of bright, lipsticky red fruits but the tannins and good acidity do kick in to give this a little bitter, Negroni-like note in the finish.
(2022) Six months ageing in barrel for this wine, from vineyards rehabilitated after their village was destroyed by an earthquake in 1968. Inky dark crimson in colour, and a cool liquorice and blueberry fruit character, a touch of rounding charriness from the the barrels. The palate has plenty of smooth, ripe and mouth-filling fruit. It has flesh and succulence on the palate, a sweet and ripe edge to the cherry and red plum, and it finishes with a smooth, creamy tannin and acid balance.
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