jamie goode's wine blog: Awesome natural Fiano at the gastronomy seminar

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Awesome natural Fiano at the gastronomy seminar


Just back from the second of the London Gastronomy seminars. It was a cracking event, although as one of the speakers it isn't really my job to say that. Amazing people attending - I chatted to quite a few afterwards - there's such a concentration of serious people interested in flavour in London, I suspect these events will keep going - it might be interesting to have a Question Time style panel for one of them, where issues of flavour, provenance, authenticity and so on are answered by a group representing different flavour disciplines, including academics, merchants, wholesalers and the like.

James Hoffmann's presentation tonight on coffee was fantastic. He's younger and smarter than me, and you can follow him at www.jimseven.com.

The wine I chose to serve was something a bit off the wall. It's a natural wine from southern Italy, and it's brilliant, life-enhancing, challenging and simply mind-blowing. But not for everyone, I admit.

Don Chisciotte Campania Fiano IGT 2007 Italy
From a vineyard at 850 metres, this is a varietal Fiano, tank matured with no sulphur dioxide additions (even at bottling) and skin maceration. A slightly cloudy orange/gold colour, it has amazing aromatics of nuts, spice, tangerine, cox apple and herbs. The palate is fresh and tangy with spicy citrus notes as well as a bit of tannic grip, with beautiful balance. Despite its wildness, it's not at all clumsy or rustic. A brilliant food companion, this is a tremendous advert for natural winemaking. You could imaging drinking something very similar to this 1000 years ago. It is not oxidised or sherried at all. A wine that demands the attention and expands the imagination. 94/100 (Les Caves de Pyrene, retail c. 16, but not much made)

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