First taste: Coriole Fiano 2011, ‘Best White Wine in Show,’ McLaren Vale Wine Show

Say what you like about the 2011 vintage in Australia, but the whites I’ve tasted have been terrific.  Coriole Fiano 2011, which recently scooped ‘Best White Wine in Show’ at McLaren Vale Wine Show, is no exception.

And before I sing the praises of the Fiano, for an insight into the strengths and weaknesses of this atypical vintage, check out my interviews here with winemakers from across the country.

Coriole Fiano 2011 (McLaren Vale)

Campania’s trio of white grapes Fiano, Falanghina and Greco di Tufo has always excited me  – these grapes have uncommon depth of flavour, complexity and layer.

Impressed by its aromatics, flavour and texture at Vinitaly in 2000, Coriole’s Mark Lloyd wasted no time planting Australia’s first commercial Fiano vines the following year in McLaren Vale.  The first vintage was released in 2005 vintage and, unsurprisingly, with a bit of vine age behind it, the wine has grown in stature.  Cut this with the freshness of the 2011 vintage and you have a winning formula.

Fresh but integrated grapefruity acidity animates the palate and informs length, while time on lees, perhaps some skin contact, brings texture and layer to its wash of flavours.  In the mouth there’s a leesy tang to its succulent and sweet honeydew melon, “drier” lemon zest, grapefruit and greengage fruit and, with time, hints of nougat and dried honey.  Long and lingering, it wears its 13.5% abv lightly.  Refreshing on its own and with enough weight to pair well with last night’s fennel and new potato bake.

Stockists include South Australian specialists Nidderdale WinesWaples, Flagship Wines and Martinez.  RRP £13.99-14.99

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