Barberry Garden

A wine corner in a crazy world


Il Frappato - 2018

Arianna Occhipinti

4.0 / 5.0

Italy » Sicilia » IGP Terre Siciliane
red still, dry
2290 UAH, 1092 UAH, 939 UAH
not available
Arianna Occhipinti Il Frappato 2018

Il Frappato is one of the first wines Arianna started to make from older vineyards. 40 years on average, they grow on medium-density soils composed of red sands and chalk from sub-Apennine limestone rocks. Destemming, maceration on the skins and spontaneous fermentation in 85 hl concrete vats for 25 days with daily pumping over and punching down. Racking and ageing in the same containers for 6 months and in Austrian oak barrels for 12 months.


4.0 / 5.0750 ml@Wix Kyiv Office · On the road between two winds: Arianna Occhipinti

Somehow Il Frappato '18 managed to hide in the Siccagno shadow. Shy and restrained, it wafts with notes of strawberry, red fruit jam, dust, blood and grounded pepper. Delicious, fresh with a long and flavourful aftertaste. A bit too tannic - you crave food with this wine.

Not sure if it's a bottle variation or just an unlucky vintage. After tasting ~10 years old Il Frappato I have no doubt it can evolve, but this bottle only proves it. And IMO it should stay in the cellar even more.

Wine #4 on On the road between two winds: Arianna Occhipinti event.

4.0 / 5.0750 ml@101 Bar

Bottle variation. Restrained nose with pomegranate, red forest berries, red flowers and blood. Fresh, delicate and sophisticated. Still has potential.

4.2 / 5.0750 ml@Wix Kyiv Office

Subjectivity alert. Demanding and complex (in a slightly bad way) Frappato. Delicate and sophisticated bouquet: blood, cherry, pomegranate and merigold. Light, subtle and multilayered. Juicy and quaffable, but still very green. I would love to hide it for 5 years and taste it again then. Though I am already in love.

Wine #2 on Il Pirata event.

4.5 / 5.0750 ml

Bloody elegant and complex. Unexpectedly pure aroma of sour cherry, pomegranate, blood, earth and violets. There is some strain in the palate, it is dense with high acidity and medium tannins. Flavourful with very long aftertaste. Great and delicate Frappato. It's pure pleasure to drink this wine. I want to taste it again in a year or two. It must gorgeous.

Arianna Occhipinti

Arianna Occhipinti is a winemaker from Vittoria who founded her own winery in 2004, bottled her first commercial vintage in 2006 and today works exclusively with estate fruit. She embraced winemaking thanks to her uncle, Guisto Occhipinti, proprietor of Vittoria's most famous winery, COS. At the age of 16 years, Arianna started to help him in the cellars. She loved this experience so much that her future connected to wine tightly.

After graduating from oenology school, Arianna started with only 1 hectare of abandoned vines attached to a family vacation house. Over the years, she acquired 25 hectares featuring only autochthonous varieties - 50% Frappato, 35% Nero d'Avola and 15% white varieties Albanello and Zibibbo. Almost all vines are young because Arianna planted them on her own. But she also added to her holdings 60 years old albarello-trained vines, which she initially rented.

Not irrigating, harvesting late and not using fertilizers are the secret to making more elegant wines in the area. The freshness and minerality in my wines come from the subsoils. Any wine made from young vines or chemically grown vines feeding only off of the top soil will have the cooked, hot characteristics people associate with wine from warm regions.

These days Arianna Occhipinti is famous as a biodynamic winemaker. There is zero irrigation in her vineyards in this hot, windy climate! To protect the vines, she grows cover crops (like fava beans) and other plants between every other row. Arianna tries to minimize intervention in the winemaking process.

Arianna is regarded as a symbol of success in the world of Biodynamic Farming and Natural Wine Making. She has remained committed to those principles while evolving from her originally more dogmatic outlook. Below is her response to importer Jules Dressner's question about her feeling about the term "natural wine":

I make natural wine, but this is a term I'm beginning to be less and less comfortable with, because its implications are very complicated. I really want to stress that my main goal is to make a good wine that reflects where it comes from, and for me the only way to successfully do this is to make the wine naturally. When I first started, people were just starting to talk about natural wine. It was very important to me to think about all these issues, and in those early years I definitely had a more militant attitude about it. Making natural wine was a mission, something worth fighting for. Now that I've grown up a little bit, the mission is making wine of terroir. You have to respect the vineyards, and nature in general. When I wake up in the morning, I want to feel free. Making this wine is my opportunity to feel free. So again, my goal is not to make natural wine, working this way is a process to make good wine.