In the southeastern corner of Sicily, west of Modica and Ragusa, the town of Vittoria is the home of Sicily’s sole DOCG (Italy’s strictest form of wine certification), known as Cerasuolo di Vittoria. Cerasuolo is an enlightened blend of Frappato and Nero d’Avola, and the two grapes when blended melt into each other in a harmonious symphony of flavor and texture. I fell in love with the wine and its medium-bodied, sensual, seductive personality. Then I discovered the Portelli family, Salvatore and his son Alessandro, and have been duly impressed with their mastery of these fine examples of southern Sicilian charm. Their wines are fresh, vibrant, and joyful to drink, all while being faithful representatives of their native land. Welcome to a new KLWM standard.
The Frappato grape, much like Gamay in France, is all about forward fruit and pleasure. It has juicy aromas, and taking a sip reminds one of biting into a ripe piece of orchard fruit, bursting with flavor. That is the “crunch” of Corsica’s Sciaccarellu, probably an even more apt comparison. This Frappato from Portelli has the added quality of a just-right bite on the finish. They have mastered the maceration and extraction to get the most out of their grapes—the wine builds to a crescendo and leaves the palate stained and saturated with staying power. This is much more than quaffing Frappato. Irresistible.
Always released a year later than their other wines due to the minimum aging requirements for the DOCG, this Cerasuolo from Portelli offers more refinement and nuance than the unadulterated pleasure of their Frappato. It also contains more muscle and depth, thanks to the noble Nero d’Avola. That said, the imposing Nero shows much more elegance here in the soils of Vittoria than it does in other areas of Sicily, where it tends to earn its keep as a wine of brawn and power. This is a statement in elegance and refinement—country charm wrapped in suede.
Drinking distilled spirits, beer, coolers, wine and other alcoholic beverages may increase cancer risk, and, during pregnancy, can cause birth defects. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/alcohol
Many food and beverage cans have linings containing bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical known to cause harm to the female reproductive system. Jar lids and bottle caps may also contain BPA. You can be exposed to BPA when you consume foods or beverages packaged in these containers. For more information, go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/bpa