Thirsty Thursday: Fiano, Castello Monaci, Acante, Salento, IT 2011

After last week’s Garnacha Blanca review, we delve into increasingly obscure depths this Thirsty Thursday.  Fiano is our grape of choice.

fianoToday’s example comes not from the vine’s famed Campania but further southeast in Salento: Italy’s sun-bleached heal-tip:

salentoIt is unbearably hot, flat, and dry here. That heat produces nearly half of Italy’s olives. Next, hot climate red grapes Primitivo and Negroamaro comprise equal thirds of wine production.  Whites barely register.  But Fiano keeps a heal-hold.

Castello Monaci, under over a century of family ownership, has 350 acres of vines, with each vineyard vinified separately.  Today’s is called “Acante”.  Desperate night harvests avoid Salento’s mid-day sun stroke. Fermentation shifts to neutral acacia barrels with skins, followed by sur-lie aging on skins to provide extra heft. Let’s try 2011:

Castello Monaci Fiano salento Italy 2011Appearance: Clear, medium, bright lemon with gold highlights.

Aromas: Buckets and buckets of gold, twisting beeswax, kiwi and green melon, linseed oil, birch, salt.

Palate: Dry but ripely fruity, with moderate acidity and alcohol (only 12.5%), followed by a gorgeous, viognier-fat body.

Flavors: That bouquet of beeswax remains, but really bold yet sunny, round, honeyed melon and pineapple juice are on show here. A little driftwood and seaside minerality closes a medium plus finish.

Conclusions: Monaci’s Fiano is solidly good, round, yet refreshing stuff (3 of 5), especially under $15. Seafood, risotto, young cheese, greek salad, or simply itself will cool any brow.


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3 Responses to Thirsty Thursday: Fiano, Castello Monaci, Acante, Salento, IT 2011

  1. talkavino says:

    Didn’t have this particular wine, but I’m a big fun of Fiano – usually wonderfully refreshing

  2. sand110 says:

    Perfect choice for transition through late summer days.

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