Fiano di Avellino "Refiano" 2015 D.O.C.G. Tenuta Cavalier Pepe
This super little white wine is made using a grape variety whose former name derived from the bees that were attracted to such deliciously sweet fruit.
Once known as Vitis Apiana (‘api’ meaning ‘bee’), Fiano grapes ripen slowly at altitude, resulting in wines that are complex and refined.
The clay-like chalky soil of the vineyards in Candida, Lapio and Montefredane is ideal for growing this variety – one of Italy’s oldest.
Although the grapes boast over 2000 years of history, it was only in 2003 that Fiano di Avellino was recognised as ‘Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (D.O.C.G.).
Those used for this wine by Tenuta Cavalier Pepe are grown at 350-500 metres above sea level and benefit from a longer growing season.
The change from warm, south-facing days to cooler nights enables extended cultivation and a final harvest full of the minerals from the soil structure.
Refinement and structure mark the work of Milena Pepe, head of this classy Campanian estate and a former student of viticulture and oenology in France.
The 50 hectares of vines she oversees feature marl and sandy clay over a limestone subsoil with volcanic elements – perfect for Fiano.
The D.O.C.G. mark for excellence and provenance is the highest available for Italian wines and is reflected in the care taken to craft this bottle.
Cool temperature maceration prior to crushing and alcoholic fermentation in temperature controlled tanks at around 16°C is followed by two months of aging on fine lees.
From the careful selection process for the hand-picked grapes to the richness added by the aging prior to bottling, Fiano di Avellino Refiano 2015 D.O.C.G. represents finest quality production.
Grape Variety: Fiano
Bottle Size: 75cl
Closure: Natural Cork
Style: Clean and slightly mineral
Drink With: Fish and shellfish
This wine is pale yellow with some pleasing green highlights, while the bouquet is delightful.
There are floral, white blossom nuances above the bright aromas reminiscent of white peach, with notes of grapefruit, sage and mint.
These give way to a dry palate, aromatic with fruit flavours, grapefruit and hints of wild fennel – all with a perfectly balanced crisp acidity for freshness.
To get the best from this Fiano di Avellino, enjoy it served at around 10°C as an aperitif or as a partner to seafood and fish, like this deliciously simple sea bream recipe.
Roger Barlow, Jan 2017.