Wine of the Month - July 2021

Medium

Rounded, fruity, nutty Southern Italian white that is a bit of a hidden favourite here at NGW!

Italy is home to more indigenous grape varieties than any other country in the world of which the white grape Fiano is one. Its home is Campania in the south, the shin of Italy, and the best expressions come from the DOCG (the highest classification for Italian wines) Fiano di Avellino, inland from the Bay of Naples surrounding the old town of Avellino. Regarded as one of the best whites of the south Fiano was first mentioned hundreds of years ago and became a favourite of the Kings of Naples though, like many varieties and regions around Europe and the World, was decimated by Phylloxera in the late 1800s, and then largely forgotten until later on in the 20th century.

Golden in colour with ripe stone and tropical fruit notes, a rich nuttiness, and a soft and rounded texture in the mouth. Fiona di Avellino can have the ability to age and develop gaining more complex aromas and flavour.

Not the most well know white in the UK… but definitely worth trying this ancient variety and exploring the fantastic and fascinating (and seemingly never ending) wines of Italy!

In a nutshell: An approachable and fruitily complex southern Italian white from the Avellino region of Campania inland from Naples.

The lowdown: Fiano is an ancient grape variety from the Avellino province of Campania and has been continuously grown here for millennia. This example from Lapilli spends 3 months on its lees after fermentation and has a lovely golden yellow colour in the glass which leads to complex aromas of spice, apricot, orange peel, acacia and honey. There's also a typical Fiano hint of hazelnuts on the palate. A bright acidity refreshes the ripe fruit flavours and keeps the soft, round mouthfeel in balance all the way to the finish.

When to drink: The soft and slightly fleshy feel make this good with things like fish, shellfish, pasta and risotto.

Lapilli

Lapilli, based in the very South-West of the Avellino province, was created in 1996 as a family-run business and has been meticulously managed by its dedicated team ever since. With vineyards in and around the towns of Montefusco, Tufo, Benevento, Ponte and Torrecuso (which is actually located within the parameters of the beautiful Parco Regionale del Taburno) and vineyards on the hills of Lapio, Forino and Candida, Lapilli has been able to claim a range of sites within the best parcels of Irpinia land. These are a collection of comunes where wine production is the main focus for the local economy and perhaps can account for the diligence of the Lapilli team in their work, and also for their ethos of cherishing advice from older generations who know the land by heart.

Winemaker Marco Flacco with nearly 20 years of experience, especially as a Consultant Winemaker for various wineries in Abruzzo, has brought a fresh approach to the wineries activities and aims, and is an enthusiastic advocate of clean, varietal flavours. In a region traditionally renowned for its premium wines, Lapilli have aimed to make these fabulous wines a little more accessible without compromising on the quality. The result is a range of enticing, elegant wines that represent fantastic value for money and yet still boast outstanding varietal aromas and flavours, complexity and reliable, clean consistency.

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