I have always loved the Colli di lapio Fiano d’Avellino.  My first experience of this wine was at the restaurant A16 in San Francisco.  I was truly struck by it’s waxy fullness, a round well-structured wine that is held up by sheer minerality and a resulting viscosity.  This is the real Fiano- a white wine that speaks of volcanoes and Roman invasions and hundereds of years of pounding tides and unrelenting sunshine.

When I saw this bottle of Campi Taurasini by Colli di Lapio at the Wine House, I simply couldn’t resist.  If Clelia Romano can make such magic out of her Fiano grapes, imagine what she can do with a grape like Aglianico…

I decanted the bottle, not knowing what kind of tannins to expect out of this wine.  However upon tasting I found it really did not need to be decanted- the wine is straight-up, un-fooled-around-with Aglianico.  Bright cherry flavors, a gorgeous ashy nose filled with the promise of a long ageing potential, and a silky, cool mouthfeel that speak to me of a very judicious use of oak.

Aglianico is compared sometimes to Nebbiolo, and this is the kind of wine responsible for such a comparison.  It has a delicacy, an elegance, and an acidity that does remind me of Nebbiolo.  Although Clelia Romano only grows Fiano on her own Colli di Lapio estate, she closely supervises the growing of the two hectares of Aglianico from which this wine is made.  The quality and finesse in the bottle speaks volumes about this winery, and makes me eager to try her Taurasi as well.  Brava, Clelia, brava!

3 Responses

  1. Ben

    That ashy character you mentioned comes across to me as anise or burnt charcoal like when the wine is younger (within two years) and fades to the background with age (10 years). I like that ashy flavor so I haven’t tried any older than that. I’m not exactly avoiding older ones, I’m just not seeking them out. You mentioned aging potential. How long would you let this go?
    As an aside, I had a 2003 Taurasi Riserva last December and did a little dance.

    Reply
    • Joanie Karapetian, Italian Wine Geek

      I totally can see anise in this wine- Aglianico is such a pretty, flinty wine! I think this particular bottle will age for another 10-15 years- there’s a mean streak of acidity the would become totally interesting after a few years in the bottle.

      As for your happy dance regarding the 2003 Taurasi, I totally get you. I have a 1996 Mascarello in my cellar that will probably illicit the same response once we open it!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
      • Phil Papoojian

        My mother’s family is from Lapio and Fiano D’Avellino is one of my favorites.

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