Saturday, March 31, 2012

Un Millennio di Fiano -At Vinitaly, Fiano di Avellino Takes a Trip Through Time...

When I arrived at Sala Fiano in the Campania pavilion, I noticed that every seat was taken.  I wasn’t worried, though.  I had reserved for this wine tasting several days earlier.  Un Millennio di Fiano…a trip through ten different vintages of Irpinia's Fiano di Avellino.  A journey in a glass to bust the myth.  You know, the one that has us to believe that Southern whites are to be drunk young. But this Fiano di Avellino, DOCG since 2003, was ready to prove otherwise.
Antonio Paolini
 Our trip through Irpinia was led by journalist Antonio Paolini who shared with us a brief background on the particular vintage year, gave us pertinent information on each winery’s winemaking processes, as well as their different territories. We were then treated to a guided tasting by sommelier Alessandro Scorsone.
Alessandro Scorsone
 When we taste a wine, we are tasting a philosophy, Scorsone shared.

So let’s taste. Ten different vintages, ten different wineries, ten different stories to discover and discuss…
Cantina del Barone 2000, Cesinali (Av)
Vadiaperte 2002, Montefredane
Colle di Lapio 2003 , Lapio (Av)
Ciro Piccariello 2004, Summonte (Av)
Azienda Vitivinicola I Favati 2005, Cesinal (Av)
Ferrara Benita 2006, Tufo (Av)
Joaquin 2007, Montefalcione (Av)
Rocca del Principe 2008, Lapio (Av)
Az. Agr. Villa Diamonte 2009, Montefredane (Av)
Tenuta Sarno 1860 2010, Avellino (Av)

Every wine expresses its character.  Every producer expresses their wine, their territory, Scorsone told the ‘sold out’ audience. Fianos whose color was almost golden.  Some with a strong grassy aromas, some floral, toasted walnut.  Some smoother than others, more elegant, deeper…

But it wasn’t a contest to see who was the best.  At least I didn’t view it that way.   Instead, it was a trip through time that we each spent observing, breathing in, and experiencing  a wide range of Fianos. Fianos who could stand the test of time.  And that was exactly the intention of this tasting.  Wineries?  Share your stories…build up a warehouse of your older vintages.  Let the public taste them whenever possible.  Journalists?  Spread the word…Campania’s Fiano di Avellino is a wine that could stand side by side with some of the best French whites.  Restauranteers? Sommeliers?  Add some of the older vintages to your wine list.  Suggest them to your clients.

It would be a message well worth hearing…and observing and tasting, and experiencing.

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