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Feb 11, 2007 02:09 AM

frappato (Sicilian red grape variety)

wine lovers, can anyone provide detailed/obscure information about this grape? As far as I know, only grown in Sicily under that name, genetically similar to another Sicilian grape with Calabrian origins. The Oxford guide dismisses it as a minor variety, and the few times its origin other than its corner of Sicily is mentioned, the words 'obscure' and 'unknown' recur. How much viticulture went on in the region prior to the Greek settlers who get credit for quite a few of the grape varieties?

The other day I snagged a bottle of Cerrasuolo di Vittoria D.O.C. from the basement and tasted it with no knowledge of its components or even region, and was very pleasantly mystified. It had a perfume/floral component in the nose I associate with white wines; medium bodied, moderate alcohol(13.5), subtly cherryish and nuanced, moderate acidity. Went well with the mild red sauced linguine. Turned out to be a blend of mostly frappato and nero d'avola. Apparently frappato is also made into a 100% varietal. If others have had these wines and care to share their impressions, I'd welcome the comments. grazie!

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  1. I recently went to and had some in Agrigento, Sicily. It was recommended to us by a waiter as being nice with fish and a red that you could serve chilled. Since I prefer reds over whites almost everytime, was eating fish, and it was about 100 degrees, it seemed like it was worth trying.

    I've since had some in New York and the sommelier chilled the bottle for us, but he did not keep it stored chilled.

    Other than it being a rather light and agreeable Sicilian red, I know little more.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Captain

      Without leaving this country you too can try Valle Dell'Acate frappato. It is distributed by Panebianco.

    2. David Rosengarten did a nice little review about Cerasuola in his free newsletter.

      1. I don't know much about the grape but I know I like Firriato's bottling of this.

        1 Reply
        1. re: whiner

          I have tried a couple of Frappato's and would confirm Moto's general description though I personally prefer it blended with Nero D'avola under the "Cerasuolo" title rather than as mono varietal where I find it a little too "soda pop".

          I believe it has only recently acquired "credibility" away from its "cheap plonk" roots.

          Its light refreshing approach makes it an un-typical southern italian varietal.