22 January 2012
Beach Road Langhorne Creek Fiano 2011
($25; 13.5% alcohol; screw cap; tasted September and December 2011; 91 points)
From the same brave Elliot Family Langhorne Creek vineyard that produced the Beach Road Fiano, this variety, too, comes from Campania, which amuses me enormously when I consider the French never complain about a whole slab of Italy having the same name as Champagne. “This was our fourth harvest,” winemaker Briony Hoare explained across her glass, discussing the notoriopusly wet and mouldy year. “It had hardly any disease at all. We’d let it have a big shady canopy, which could have been trouble, keeping the breeze from drying the bunches, but they’re naturally big and open and took that shocking weather really well.” The wine smells like iceberg roses, and ripe juicy pears; the Bosc or Conference varieties. It smells like it’s gonna be viscous: all heady and syrupy ... I suspected it must be naturally high in glycerols. And it is syrupy, in the coolest, most comforting manner. Briony trapped it in a sealed container on fine lees and it has that full creamy fluffiness about it. As it has not much in the way of sharp acidity, I’d drink it with contrasting, high acid food, like tomato sauces with plenty of garlic (with spirali pasta) or green olives (with tomato and veal, or osso bucco). This is the wine you have when you need a pat.