Operatic Fiano from Puglia
Today's featured wine carries an operatic theme, its proprietary name "Gazza Ladra" reflecting a popular Rossini opera first performed in 1817. The opera, "The Thieving Magpie," tells the tale of a woman falsely accused of stealing a silver spoon that was actually taken by a magpie, a blackbird with a yen for bright and shining objects.
Despite growing in somewhat unfamiliar soil, Gazza Ladra is fairly typical Fiano: A medium-bodied white wine with intriguing scents of almonds and beeswax honey over fresh white fruit, a fine seafood match. This brand may be hard to find. It's a small-production item apparently brought to the U.S., at least, by only one regional importer. But don't despair: While Gazza Ladra is a good and reasonably characteristic Fiano, you'll can get similar enjoyment from Fiano-based wines from many other producers, most of them clustered around the village of Avellino in Campania.
Fiano, like many other Southern Italian white varieties, is an ancient grape with a heritage back to the Roman Empire and even the earlier Greeks. The name "Fiano" purportedly traces back to the Latin "Vitis apiano" ("grape of the bees"), earning that name because the ripe fruit's heady aromas attracted swarms of honeybees to the vineyards.
Shop WineGlobe.com's extensive last-minute gift guide. Inside are items sure to please - discounted from WineGlobe's already low prices.
Special for the holidays! Click the image link at right for WineGlobe's Champagne gift baskets, and take 15 percent off by using the special gift code wgad106 when you place your online order!
Santa Lucia 2005 "Gazza Ladra" Puglia Fiano ($17)
This transparent pale-gold wine shows bright highlights against the light. Typical Fiano aromatics focus on white fruit with overtones of almonds and beeswax honey. Fresh, medium-bodied and crisply acidic, its flavors follow the nose, with good fresh-fruit acidity adding a cleansing snap in the finish. U.S. importer: Vintner Select, Mason, Ohio. (Nov. 19, 2006)
FOOD MATCH: This crisp, structured and textured white made an exceptional accompaniment with the cod chowder featured in the Nov. 30, 2006 Wine Advisor FoodLetter. It should go well with any relatively rich seafood or fish dish.
VALUE: The upper teens neighborhood is the current standard price point for Fiano, but its intruiging aromatics and structure justify the cost.
WHEN TO DRINK: Well suited for immediate enjoyment, although Fiano does have the capability to gain richness and complexity over several years under ideal storage conditions.
The winery Website is published in both English and Italian.
FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
To undertake a broader search for a variety of Fianos from Campania, try this Wine-Searcher link:
TheWineBuyer.com is your best source for wine on the Internet. Buy your old favorites and new discoveries and have them shipped right to your door! Try our Wine Gift Ideas for all your upcoming holiday wine gifts, whether personal or corporate. Sign up for our email newsletter and be the first to find out about special wines and sales; right now we're counting down our Top 10 Wines of the Year. Check out our Wine Education Pages and enhance your wine knowledge.
TALK ABOUT WINE ONLINE:
To read and comment on today's column in our non-commercial WineLovers Discussion Group, click:
Today's article is cross-posted in our Netscape WineLovers Community, where we also welcome comments and questions.
To contact me by E-mail, write firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll respond personally to the extent that time and volume permit.
PRINT OUT TODAY'S ARTICLE
To subscribe or unsubscribe from The 30 Second Wine Advisor, change your E-mail address, or for any other administrative matters, please use the individualized hotlink found at the end of your E-mail edition. If this is not practical, contact me by E-mail at email@example.com, including the exact E-mail address that you used when you subscribed, so I can find your record.
We do not use our E-mail list for any other purpose and will never give or sell your name or E-mail address to anyone. I welcome feedback, suggestions, and ideas for future columns. To contact me, please send E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
All the wine-tasting reports posted here are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores and accept no samples, gifts or other gratuities from the wine industry.
Friday, Dec. 22, 2006