2016 Far + Wide Frappato
This week's wine is a Winc wine. It's a 2016 Frappato, which is a grape native to Sicily. It's a relatively hard to find grape, and is typically blended Nero d'Avola to make a more commonly found Sicilian wine, Cerasuolo di Vittoria. The Frappato grape makes a relatively light-bodied wine, and it's closely related to the Sangiovese grape, so if you like Sangiovese wine you would likely like Frappato as well. This particular Frappatio is very interesting because it was grown near Mt. Etna. The volcanic soil in the region can really effect how the wine ends up tasting. It's what the French refer to as terroir; how the soil, climate, and environment can have a larger impact on the taste and smell of the wine than the grape varietal used. For example, grapes grown in soil that contains a lot of slate or limestone can produce wines that have more minerality than the same grape varietal grown in an earthier soil. Grapes grown in the Mt. Etna region produce wines that have a distinct volcanic taste and smell to them. They tend to be smokier and more peppery than a typical wine of the varietal. These smoky, volcanic notes are really interesting when found in a lighter, more delicate wine. It adds an unexpected complexity to the wine. One of my favorite wines is Etna Rosso, which is a wine made primarily from the Nerello Mascalese grape, and it comes from the Mt. Etna region. It's delicate and floral, like a Pinot Noir, but has that volcanic depth to it that makes you really stop and taste the wine in an effort to understand it. It's a wine that makes you think. Because of how much I've enjoyed Mt. Etna wines in the past, I was very excited to open this bottle of Mt. Etna Frappato.
This was a really interesting wine to smell and taste. When I sniffed it I got notes of bright red fruit, like red cherries and raspberries, and the slight burn of pink peppercorn in the back of my nose. The pepperiness was very consistent with the Mt. Etna region. When I sipped the wine I got stronger notes of red fruit, plum and a hint of cranberry in addition to the cherry and raspberry, but the pepperiness quickly overwhelmed the fruit and blended with a smokey note that I was expecting. Surprisingly, there was a bit of an herbal aftertaste to mellow out the pepperiness. I got very subtle notes of rosemary and thyme after I swallowed the wine. It was a very dynamic and interesting wine, that was still relatively approachable and easy to drink. It wasn't as delicate as Etna Rosso, it didn't have the same level of juxtaposition because it wasn't as floral, but it was still a very interesting wine. I paired with a turkey burger and grilled zucchini. The charred zucchini held up great to the pepperiness, but the turkey wasn't quite a strong enough meat for the wine. I think it would go great with a meat lasagna or baked ziti, something hearty and very Italian.