Malcolm Jolley enjoys a well priced, crisp white from Campania.
2016 La Guardiense ‘Janare’ Fiano Sannio DOP, LCBO# 528786, $16.95
If this post seems familiar, or bottle shot reminds you of something, it might be that you recall another Try This wine recommendation for well priced white from the Campanian producer La Guardiense. I recommended their 2015 Falanghina this summer in this post, and I was delighted when I spotted the stylized ‘f’ on a row of bottles in my local LCBO Vintages store the other day. La Guardiense is the perfect embodiment of the Italian wine revolution story. It’s a cooperative, centred around the community of Sannio (now a DOC), in the hills of Campania northeast of Naples. They made lots of wine with an eye for quantity over quality until 20 or so years ago, when they decided to focus on quality. Since then they have repeatedly won Italy’s prestigious Tre Bicchieri awards, but managed to keep their prices well within the range of the reasonable.
Fiano is sort of their second white grape, both La Guardiense and their area of Campania is better known for Falanghina. Fiano is associated more with the southern end of the region, as well as other more southernly parts of the Mezzogiorno, including Western Sicily, where it’s not native, but was famously planted by Planeta a quarter century or so to go to make their iconic white, Cometa. It’s a versatile grape and seems perfectly happy in the hills of Sannio, where La Guardiense’s young winemaker Marco Giolioli also makes wine from Greco and Coda di Volpe.
The 2016 Janare Fiano is fresh and full of tangy cirus notes that round off into a mellowness that reminds me of Japanese pear. It’s really an aperitif wine, to put out with snacks, or delicious on it’s own. But it would hold it’s own with fish or white meat. Cin cin.