COS

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Country of Origin: Italy
Location: Ragusa, Sicily
People: Giambattista Cilia & Giusto Occhipinti, Owners & Winemakers
Viticulture: Practicing Biodynamic

Items

COS 2019 'Rami' (Orange), Terre Siciliane IGP Login In Stock
COS 2020 'Rami' (Orange), Terre Siciliane IGP Login On Order
COS 2018 'Zibibbo in Pithos' Terre Siciliane IGP Login WA 93 On Order
COS 2019 Frappato, Terre Siciliane IGP Login
COS 2020 Frappato, Terre Siciliane IGP Login In Stock
COS 2011 'Contrada' Sicilia IGT Login WA 93 AG 94 In Stock
COS 2018 'Nero di Lupo' Nero d'Avola, Terre Siciliane IGP Login AG 91 In Stock
COS 2018 'Pithos' Rosso, Vittoria DOC Login <1 Case
COS 2017 Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico DOCG Login On Order
COS (500ml) Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Organic), Sicily Login In Stock



Social Media
COS Facebook
Instagram: @giustoocchipinti

Media Links
I'll Drink to That!: Episode 271 Giusto Occhipinti
Pull That Cork: COS: Sicilian Wine for the Curious Wine Drinker
Palate Press: At COS, the Future of Wine Comes from the Past
Food and Wine Gazette: Azienda Agricola COS: A Sicilian Winemaker with a Difference
Napa Valley Register: COS Winery: Giving Natural Wine a Good Name
Wine Enthusiast: Ancient Vessels, Modern Wines
Lonely Planet: On the Grapevine: Five Must-try Sicilian Wineries
Wine Enthusiast: Red-Hot Sicily's Top Wine Regions

If you live in America and have had a Sicilian wine lately, you have COS—at least partly—to thank for it. The success of this winery, started by a trio of high school friends in 1980, helped put Sicilian viticulture on the international map during a time when it was mostly producing bulk wine. Though Sicily has a millennia-old wine culture, there had been a decline in winemaking for more than a hundred years when Giambattista Cilia, Cirino Strano, and Giusto Occhipinti (acronym of their last names is where the name for the winery – COS – comes from) were given some grapes by Occhipinti’s father to "give them something to do" before university. From that early experiment, which involved foot stomping and an old antique hand press, they’ve been at the forefront of winemaking in the Cerasuolo di Vittoria region, which became Sicily’s only DOCG in 2005.

In fact, experimentation has been something of a defining ethos for COS. They tried making ripe wines with French barriques, but eventually settled into the style that they’re now famous for—natural, unadorned wines that show their place. Their estate grapes are farmed organically and biodynamically. The vineyards are dry farmed unless extremely dry weather requires irrigation. They use only indigenous yeast. They ferment the Pithos label in 400-liter Spanish clay amphorae buried in the ground, controlling temperature with a system of water tubes. They power their winery with solar panels. Each part of their process works to unprocess; that is—to preserve the fruit as the land gives it to them. Even their bottles are a stubby-shaped nod to their site—a replica of one that was excavated from their vineyards. These wines are benchmarks for the region, as distinctive as the folks behind them.

Reviews

  • COS Az. Agr. 2011 'Contrada' Sicilia IGT
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 93 (12/28/2018)

    Nero d'Avola rarely gets this good (and in such a natural state). The excellent 2011 Sicilia Contrada gives us a beautiful window onto the grape most closely associated with the Sicilian Wine Renaissance that we've seen these past 20 years or so. Wine styles have obviously changed over all those years, and COS always embraces an elegant and streamlined approach that is perfectly displayed here. It's been seven years since the harvest, and this wine is still ever-fresh and youthful.
  • COS Az. Agr. 2011 'Contrada' Sicilia IGT
    Vinous
    Rating: 94 (8/6/2019)

    Fresh, ripe, concentrated red cherry aromas and flavors are complicated by sweet spices, minerals and herbs. Finishes long and clean with repeating floral perfume and polished if still youthful tannins that will need time to resolve fully. An outstanding red, not marred by any notes of excessive maceration. Made from Nero d’Avola.
  • COS Az. Agr. 2018 'Zibibbo in Pithos' Terre Siciliane IGP
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 93 (10/17/2019)

    The 2018 Zibibbo in Pithos is a special product with no rivals I can think of in Italy. It opens to a pale-copper golden color, with an enormously fragrant bouquet that is beaming with honeysuckle, star jasmine, acacia flower and the kind of sweet almond blossoms that color the landscape around the Temples of Agrigento in the spring. You also get a touch of "zagara," which is a local word for orange blossom. All these aromas take you directly to southeast Sicily where these sun-kissed grapes are cultivated. This wine is aged for seven months on the skins in amphorae, and added dimensions and complexity are rendered by those slightly more oxidized aromas that recall caramel and dried apricot. The acidity is there, maybe the wine could use a pinch more, and you don't taste or feel much alcohol at a light 11.5%, but the results are beautiful nonetheless.
  • COS Az. Agr. 2018 'Nero di Lupo' Nero d'Avola, Terre Siciliane IGP
    Vinous
    Rating: 91 (10/17/2019)

    A pure expression of Nero d'Avola, aged simply in cement vats, the 2018 Nero di Lupo shows loads of varietal purity with summer dark cherry, tilled earth, fennel herb and that ever-present aroma that reminds me of Sicilian olive or caper. Like all the wines in the COS portfolio, this one shows extreme precision and fine focus. This vintage was not easy, with rain and cooler temperatures toward the end of the growing season, but this wolf still howls.