Eye-Opening: 2014 Occhipinti Frappato

Posted by Joe Salamone

Arianna Occhipinti started making wine in her 20s with 1 hectare of abandoned vines in Southeastern Sicily.

In no time, her Frappato gained a cult following and was found on cutting edge wines lists in New York, London and Paris.

Occhipinti's Frappato is like no other. No one renders the grape with as much textural fascination, aromatics or finesse. I can remember how blown away everyone was when we tasted her 2006, the first vintage that came to the U.S.

It's obvious that Arianna Occhipinti is one of Italy's most talented winemakers and how limited the wines are makes it clear that many people have taken notice. While we've bought the wines for years, this is the first time we've been able to land enough quantity to offer them out.

The 2014 is an especially pure and elegant vintage for the wine. It flaunts crystalline red berry fruit, spices, earth, minerals and high-toned floral notes, along with a bright, invigorating backbone.

Frappato is a grape native to Occhipinti's home in Vittoria. It's known for producing light, fresh, easygoing wines and is most often seen blended with Nero d'Avola in Cerasuolo di Vittoria where it lends liveliness and softness. In recent years, a few producers have started to make single varietal bottlings of Frappato. To date, no one else has delivered the grape with the brilliance that Occhipinti does.

She is a staunch believer in minimal intervention winemaking, farming her vineyards biodynamically and bottling her wines without filtration. For more on the Occhipinti estate, I encourage you to check out the fascinating I'll Drink to That interview, with Arianna herself.

Occhipinti is a small estate with an enthusiastic and outsized fan club. If you haven't had the wines before, the 2014 Frappato is the perfect introduction. It delivers extraordinary soulfulness, clarity and refinement for the price. Unfortunately, we don’t have a large amount to offer today, so please give us your ideal order and we’ll do our best.

To order, email offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone

Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits

2014 Occhipinti Frappato

Monica Larner, Wine Advocate: "Arianna Occhipinti has outdone herself with the 2014 Il Frappato. This is a wine of character and personality. It flaunts those slightly rustic edges with charm and confidence. The bouquet opens to ripe blueberry, raspberry and dried cassis. The quality of fruit shows good integrity and balance. You don't notice any of the raw or unclean smells you sometimes get with wines made in such a natural and non-interventionist approach. The nose is pristine. In the mouth, Il Frappato delivers vibrant acidity and snappy fruit flavors. More than any other wine, this vintage and this producer can claim to have produced something close to a Pinot Nero with an all-Sicilian soul."