Thursday, November 25, 2010

Italian Oddball

I'll admit it, I've become a sucker for a non-traditional varietal. Whenever I read about a wine that features some sort of foreign, indigenous grapes in local columns, I immediately wonder if I could use it to advance my application for the Wine Century Club. When it's an easy find and a decent price like this bottle, it's a bit of a no-brainer.

651. 2009 Inycon Estate Fiano (IGT Sicily - Italy)

Knowing next to nothing about Sicilian wines, I wasn't aware of this producer - nor had I heard anything about the Fiano varietal. Inycon is a label that is produced by the Settesoli Cooperative in Sicily. The cooperative consists of around 2300 members and they collectively farm 16,000 acres of vineyard - with production hitting about 15 million bottles a year. With that many producers, that much acreage and that many bottles involved, you have to expect that they have a great selection of varietals available - and they do, from traditionally indigenous grapes to international varietals.

Fiano isn't, apparently, a grape that is traditionally associated with Sicily; however, it is particularly well-suited to the the warm Sicilian climate. The varietal is known as a strong flavoured, medium bodied grape - often noted for a taste reminiscent of hazelnuts. I didn't notice any nuttiness to the wine, but I was pleasantly surprised. As a rule, I don't look to Italian whites for a whole lot of complexity. Easy drinking, summer wines is my general take on these wines, but the Fiano had a freshness - with a bit of acidity and slight fruitiness - that made it a nice match to the creamy, mussel pasta.

I could see returning to Inycon.

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