Cantine Caggiano "Béchar" Fiano di Avellino 2018
For my money, Italian white wine hardly gets better than a great Fiano from the hills of Avellino. Fiano is one of those chimerical grapes which straddle two ends of the white wine flavor spectrum – its racy, wet-stone acidity stands next to tropical yellow pear richness, with that classic nectarine-pit bite on the finish. Brisk yet rich; full-bodied yet light on its feet.
This pocket of Campania is part of the Appian Way, the Roman thoroughfare dating back to the 4th century BC. Roman centurions would vacation here, luxuriating in the volcanic-fed hot springs prevalent in the area.
The founder Antonio Caggiano, a native Campanian, is a fervent partisan of its regional wines and founded the winery over a network of dozens of subterranean cellars, making for one of the most intricate and comprehensive living museums of Roman viticultural history, hidden beneath rows of sustainably-farmed vineyards on the chalky, iron-rich soils above.
It's these soils that are partly responsible for the wine's tension. As it opens up with air, Caggiano's Fiano shows all of its honeyed richness and tropical fruit, with chalk, pear, and lemon pith. Just an utterly delicious volcanic Italian white!