Fiano has quite some potential in Australia – and notably in McLaren Vale. The Vale has a climate that isn’t far from sothern Campania or Sicily, with the beaches outside of Menfi even looking like McLaren Vale in summer (though Sicily’s warmer). Perfecto!
Here’s two smart, well-priced wines (with excellent packaging) to show the way:
Juxtaposed Bigger Boat Fiano 2017
Love the Jaws reference. This comes from the Lacey Vineyard in the Sellicks Foothills. No additions bar some SO2 at bottling. Some barrel ferment, some tank, all left in hogsheads for 3 months post ferment in a cool room to ‘keep the active yeast culture alive, to better augment the textural components of the wine, while preventing malolactic fermentation.’ Clever man that Wes Pearson, and this is clever textural Fiano. Cloudy, has a little lemon rind and grapefruit before a palate that moves between tangy/citrus acid dryness and then more substantial lemon pie flavour. Has a delicious tang through the fiinish too. Both satisfyingly crisp with some breadth too, the preserved lemon on the finish delicious too. Nice drink. Best drinking: 2017-2019. 17.7/20, 92/100. 12.5%, $25. Would I buy it? Yes.
Lino Ramble Ludo McLaren Vale Fiano 2016
1/3 of this has 90 days on skins. 2/3 straight to old oak. Wild ferment and no added anything besides sulphur. At first it was nutty and lightly oxidative, but it settles into a golden, sun kissed and easy low acid, softly textured white. Chardonnay like, but with a lovely honey edge. Delicious too, in a broader style than the Juxtaposed. I like ’em both. Best drinking: 2017-2019. 17.7/20, 92/100. 13.3%, $30. Would I buy it? Yes.