The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Expert Picks: Fiorano and…Fiorano!

Posted on | November 4, 2014 | Written by Robin Kelley OConnor | No Comments

Robin_B_8.6.14_72dpiThe Fiorano estate is a true fairytale property sitting on the outskirts of Rome, near the Via Appia Antica in the region of Lazio (Latium), 25 miles from the center of Rome. One of the great winemaking stories, Fiorano was an Italian wine-producing estate owned by the Alberico Boncompagni Ludovisi, a prince of Venosa of the millennia-old Ludovisi family, active during a period from the late 1940s to 1995. Famed wine critic Burton Anderson dubbed Fiorano’s wines “the noblest Romans of them all” in his 1980 anthology Vino, and this is just one of the many authorities singing the estate’s praises. Approaching his death, the Prince ripped up all of his vineyards, convinced that no one else could make wine as he did. He was wrong, and his granddaughter Alessia Antinori, a 26th generation winemaker, is proving it.

In 2004, the fabled wines of Fiorano came to IWM, their first time at a US wine retailer, and they caused a sensation in the wine world; IWM has the deepest inventory in the States, a point of pride for us. Following the death of her grandfather in 2005, Alessia Antinori, assumed the project of restoring the Prince’s vineyards, making them biodynamic, and slowly, with a lot of grit, she is returning the estate to its former magnificence. My picks today—Fiorano No. 47 Bianco 1992 and Fiorano No. 48 Sémillon 1995—represent just two selections from IWM’s holdings of the Prince’s fabled wines.

Fiorano No. 47 Bianco 1992 $124.00

More than two decades old, Fiorano No. 47 Bianco 1992 is made from organically grown Malvasia di Candia grape. A dark, deep bright golden yellow, this ‘92 still shows signs of youthfulness. The bouquet is full and intense with aromas of white flowers, candied fruit, pear, spice and earthiness. On the palate, the flavors are concentrated and complex, enveloping the mouth with a rich texture and spiced fruits of apples, pears and minerals. The finish is long balanced and harmonious.

Fiorano No. 48 Sémillon 1995 $124.00

Just shy of 20 years old, this Fiorano No. 48 Sémillon is one of my favorites in this unique and historic collection of wines. I’m a huge fan of old Sémillon and have had the great fortune of experiencing aged Bordeaux and mature Hunter Valley Australian Sémillon. This Fiorano 1995 brings all the excitement of drinking older Sémillon, as this grape offers some of the most compelling flavors and a bouquet that is endlessly intriguing. Powerful, full bodied and rich, this wine is drinking perfectly right now and has years of life ahead of it.

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