2011 Oliver's Taranga Vineyards Fiano

Fiano Grapes
Oliver's Taranga winery in the McLaren Vale has a history dating back 170 years when the newly-arrived Oliver family from Scotland settled on land they named Taranga, after the word meaning "middle" in the language of the local indigenous Kaurna people. The 2011 Fiano is the fourth vintage and is 100% Estate grown. Minimal intervention was required in the vineyard as the variety is drought tolerant and disease resistant or in the winery as it happens with its ability to maintain moderate levels of acidity and little need for oak treatment.

The grape Fiano di Avellino has its origins in the mineral-rich, volcanic and calcareous hillsides around where else, Avellino in the Campania region of Italy. If you draw a line, it is located roughly north of Salerno and east of Naples. The variety itself dates back to Roman times when it was called Vitis Apiana because its luscious sugary pulp attracted bees (Apis in Latin). The Roman wine Apianum is thought to have been made from Fiano grapes. Earlier records suggest that the Greeks were responsible for its importation and cultivation in settlements throughout Campania. Nowadays, within the Campania region Fiano di Avellino is a DOCG (Denominazione Di Origine Controllata) variety, an Italian governmental quality assurance label that is modelled after the French AOC.

Fiano is a relatively new variety that has slowly made its way onto the Australian wine scene without too much fanfare but with great interest from winemakers and expectations that it will do well in our warmer wine growing regions. Pale straw-yellow colour in the glass with appealing aromas of ripe pears, pine needles and fresh white flowers. Very minerally and crisp on the palate with toasted hazelnut and floral nuances. Slightly orange citric and salty. A fascinating wine that I enjoyed even more the second night where notes of honey and beeswax added to its beguiling complexity. Perhaps serving at a cool rather than cold temperature will show Fiano's true characteristics. It conjures up images of wild, wet and rocky Mediterranean hills. This is a classy, well balanced, medium bodied wine with a refreshingly long finish. I hope Australian winemakers realise its potential here and produce more of the stuff in the future.

Source: Retail Purchase. Alcohol: 13%. Closure: Screwcap. Rating: 91+ Points. 
Website:  http://www.oliverstaranga.com/

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