There is no greater memory than sitting by Fornillo beach in Italy’s seaside hillslope of Positano with two of life’s basics: a glass of Italian wine, fiano and a fresh tuna steak. Now fiano is grown in quite a few Australian sites, often as with the three Aussies tasted here, growing regions much cooler than its homeland inland from Naples, and the most respected in the Avellino area (DOCG). So it was important to taste some cool examples from three Australian states alongside an Italian original.
Tasting these four placed the Granite Belt origin wine (Ballandean Estate) very high on the quality table-lots of expression and a very deep flavour profile. The Frankland River fiano (Cherubino) had closed aromas essentially from some older oak barrel aging yet exploding palate which fiano gives. The Adelaide Hills fiano (Handcrafted by Geoff Hardy) has lovely florals of the grape yet a tighter and gently worked palate.
The fruit strength was with the Ballandean Estate wine if comparisons have to be made that way-I would serve all three of the Aussies.
Now for the Colli di Lapio 2010, Fiano di Avellino DOCG; not the style for Australian consumers. Generally a wine made and handled in barrel in an oxidising manner, old school technology, little or no freshness and a dried out palate that does not express the fruit flavour of the grape variety (as the Aussies do).
A wine to serve to conservative drinkers or label buffs who don’t show discernment or are yet to drink modern.
Ballandean Estate Messing About Fiano 2013 (AUD 26) 13.2% 800m Granite Belt Qld (second harvest from the vineyard)
Handcrafted by Geoff Hardy 2013 (AUD 25) 13% Adelaide Hills SA
Larry Cherubino Laissez Faire 2013 (AUD 29) 13% Frankland River WA
Colli di Lapio DOCG 2010 (AUD 35) 13.5% Lapio, Campania, Italy
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