Updated: Feb 8, 2018
After the blog on Greco di Tufo, today we will dive into the Fiano wines. It reaches its pinnacle in the Fiano di Avellino DOCG. The appellation includes more than twenty villages that lie on the hills surrounding the city of Avellino. The northern part of the appellation border the Greco di Tufo DOCG, actually the two have a small overlap. The soils are rich of Volcanic elements and high in clay. Some vineyards can reach 2300 ft.
Differently from the wines from Greco, which are blends of grapes from different areas within the appellation; the wines from Fiano are more often site specific.
There are four areas to remember:
1) Lapio, considered the original town, the wines from here are characterized by pronounced aromatics.
2) Montefredane crafts intensively mineral, high acid, long lived wines.
3) Summonte produces powerful, concentrated wines
4) Cesinali crafts approachable , delicate and less structured wines.
The best wines are considered the finest and longest lived Italian whites .
Fiano produces more aromatic wines than Greco, they also are more velvety and elegant.
They age very well and they show their true potential after a few years in the bottle. At this point, the delicate floral, fruity, and herbal aromas and flavors give way to more intense , nutty and toasted smoky notes. The best examples develop complex peaty, flinty petrol, briny nuances. These bottling are able to combine finesse with mineral complexity.
Fiano can also appear in other appellations, such as Irpinia DOC, which produces blends and less rules strict wines.
The same wineries mentioned for Greco di Tufo produce great Fiano di Avellino. Here is some of the most notable ones.
Colli di Lapio
is a small, family owned winery that crafts what critics have dubbed “the finest wine of Fiano di Avellino.” Run with expert care and supreme dedication by Clelia Romano and her family, Colli di Lapio comprises a mere 8 hectares (approximately 19 acres). The winery, adjacent to the property’s superbly tended vineyards, is both modern and clean but no bigger than a large garage.
With another outstanding performance, Clelia Romano clearly demonstrates why her 2014 Colli di Lapio Fiano di Avellino is the premier Fiano and the benchmark by which others have come to be measured. Brilliant in the glass, the 2014 Colli di Lapio Fiano di Avellino offers up an enticing array of aromas and flavors: spring flowers, stone fruits, and incense all make their appearance and exude a seductive energy with pinpoint precision, refreshing acidity, and gentle minerality. Moreover, Colli di Lapio’s 2014 Fiano finishes with verve and vivacity that includes a refreshing hint of sea spray. White wine drinkers who eschew the hegemony of oak in their wine will find Colli di Lapio’s Fiano di Avellino particularly refreshing and exhilarating. Elegant, natural, and sophisticated, Colli di Lapio’s 2014 Fiano di Avellino glides effortlessly across the tongue, before sliding ever so easily down the gullet, which made our impatient tasting panel members literally beg for more. This young Fiano is absolutely brilliant now, yet a moderate chill (40º-45° F) and a few minutes of aeration in the glass will only enhance the pleasure. Enjoy!
Cost - $22-$25
Straw yellow, expressing the quintessence of Fiano di Avellino in the nose, thanks to notes of hawthorn, white peach, citron and thyme. A bouquet featuring a decisive mineral touch which acts as a prelude to a crisp, rewarding palate, each sip inviting the next, astounding by definition. It becomes savoury, closing with an incomparably clean finish.
With all courses of a meal, Fiano di Avellino is a white wine that is ideal with the most varied fish dishes. Excellent with classic baked sea bass.
Cost - $25-27
Ciro Picariello Ciro 906
Straw yellow in color. On the nose intense floral notes, that leave to notes of fruits like peach. On the palate it shows its freshness, characterized by an acidity very well balanced and not invasive. The finish is long and persistent.
Feudi di San Gregorio
It is a straw yellow in color with green highlights. On the nose herbal notes of Chamomile yellow peach and orange candied skin. The palate show live freshness and mineral notes.
I met the owner of the Joaquin winey Raffaele Pagano at a luncheon. I am planning to visit the winery and will post a blog on it. Suffice to say that the Joaquin wines are the Gran Cru of Fiano , exceptionally good and expensive.
It has a deep straw yellow in color. On the notes it shows intense notes of apricot , melon and pineapple, with tropical fruits well ripe. Secondary aromas of honey and touches of dry fruits. ON the palate you immediately catch the intense body with mineral notes and extreme elegance. The finish is harmonious and long with nutty notes.
Piante a Lapio is the most sophisticated and yet the most expensive Fiano you may be able to buy at $90-$100.
Raffaele in his search for innovation, has created " a lucid folly" like they call it in the wine circle. In Lapio, Raffaele with the enologist Maurizio De Simone looked for Fiano plants that were un-grafted. It found few cuttings in a vast territory. The Harvest is done in 24 hours but in 24 different places, like Raffaele likes to say. For vilification is uses old "Botti" of chestnut, it ferments the grape for a long period without distemming. and on the lees for over six months. The wine has a extremely big body and cannot be consumed young. On the nose it show some sulfur notes and black pepper; also floral notes and honey, vanilla and salt. On the palate there is less expression but intense and persistent notes of chestnut , lemon zest and saline minerality. A fascinating wine that hasn't reached 90+ just yet as Raffaele is still experimenting. The cost is steep at $90-$100 that is definitely on the high side on an Southern Italian white wine. But definitely something to try if your pocket would allow it.
Straw yellow with gold reflections. Very refined on the nose with notes of pear, apple and yellow peach enriched with floral notes of acacia, and aromatic herbs. On the palate is refreshing and salty rich and structured with an intense body and a long and persistent finish.
You can also find Mastroberardino Fiano di Avellino. A good wine at a much affordable cost of $18-20. Mastroberardino we will meet it again in the Red wines of Campania.
But of corse you can find less expensive Fiano wines that are of course less expressive and won't leave you with a "wow" feeling. An example is Matilde Zasso Fiano di Avellino.
Also Villa Matilde : Tenute di Altavilla , a good Fiano at a price of $18-$20