Arianna Occhipinti SP68 Rosso 2015 Front Label
Arianna Occhipinti SP68 Rosso 2015 Front Label

Arianna Occhipinti SP68 Rosso 2015

  • WE91
750ML / 13% ABV
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  • JS92
  • WS90
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750ML / 13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Named for the road going past the winery, SP68 is a blend of Nero d'Avola and Frappato. This is a perfect balance of power and finesse; the Nero imparts rich dark fruits and the Frappato adds a high-toned raspberry note.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
A blend of 70% Frappato and 30% Nero d'Avola, this boasts enticing scents of fragrant blue flower, rose and ripe dark-skinned berry. The succulent palate doles out tart red cherry, blackberry, star anise and ground pepper framed in supple tannins and fresh acidity. A mineral note wraps up the finish.
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Arianna Occhipinti

Arianna Occhipinti

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Arianna Occhipinti, Italy
Occhipinti is located in Vittoria, in the southwestern corner of Sicily, and winemaker Arianna Occhipinti’s reputation seems to grow with every vintage. Her first vintage was 2004, though it wasn’t until 2005 that her wines were internationally distributed. Arianna has a total of 10 hectares of Nero d’Avola and Frappato vines that, since April of 2009, have been farmed using biodynamic methods, which she believes has added to the overall expression of the soil. The grapes, planted largely on chalky soils, are trained using albarello or guyot and are left to vigorously grow leaves so as to maintain freshness. Fermentation for Frappato takes place in stainless steel while the Nero d’Avola is fermented in large plastic tubs though her goal is to eventually ferment everything in cement. Maceration for the Nero d’Avola is 30-40 days and longer for the Frappato.

In addition to the monovarietal wines, Arianna makes a blend of Nero and Frappato called SP68. Named for the road going past her house, the wine is made like a Cerasuolo but is labelled as IGT Sicilia as Arianna does not always want to age the wine for the minimum 18 months in barrel required by the authorities.

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A large, geographically and climatically diverse island, just off the toe of Italy, Sicily has long been recognized for its fortified Marsala wines. But it is also a wonderful source of diverse, high quality red and white wines. Steadily increasing in popularity over the past few decades, Italy’s fourth largest wine-producing region is finally receiving the accolades it deserves and shining in today's global market.

Though most think of the climate here as simply hot and dry, variations on this sun-drenched island range from cool Mediterranean along the coastlines to more extreme in its inland zones. Of particular note are the various microclimates of Europe's largest volcano, Mount Etna, where vineyards grow on drastically steep hillsides and varying aspects to the Ionian Sea. The more noteworthy red and white Sicilian wines that come from the volcanic soils of Mount Etna include Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio (reds) and Carricante (whites). All share a racy streak of minerality and, at their best, bear resemblance to their respective red and white Burgundies.

Nero d’Avola is the most widely planted red variety, and is great either as single varietal bottling or in blends with other indigenous varieties or even with international ones. For example, Nero d'Avola is blended with the lighter and floral, Frappato grape, to create the elegant, Cerasuolo di Vittoria, one of the more traditional and respected Sicilian wines of the island.

Grillo and Inzolia, the grapes of Marsala, are also used to produce aromatic, crisp dry Sicilian white. Pantelleria, a subtropical island belonging to the province of Sicily, specializes in Moscato di Pantelleria, made from the variety locally known as Zibibbo.

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended red wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged resulting in a wide variety of red wine styles. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a red wine blend variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

How to Serve Red Wine

A common piece of advice is to serve red wine at “room temperature,” but this suggestion is imprecise. After all, room temperature in January is likely to be quite different than in August, even considering the possible effect of central heating and air conditioning systems. The proper temperature to aim for is 55° F to 60° F for lighter-bodied reds and 60° F to 65° F for fuller-bodied wines.

How Long Does Red Wine Last?

Once opened and re-corked, a bottle stored in a cool, dark environment (like your fridge) will stay fresh and nicely drinkable for a day or two. There are products available that can extend that period by a couple of days. As for unopened bottles, optimal storage means keeping them on their sides in a moderately humid environment at about 57° F. Red wines stored in this manner will stay good – and possibly improve – for anywhere from one year to multiple decades. Assessing how long to hold on to a bottle is a complicated science. If you are planning long-term storage of your reds, seek the advice of a wine professional.

DBWDB001915_2015 Item# 169826

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