Greco-Fiano, Another Lucanian Gem
Basilicata, originally known as Lucania, is a beautiful region in southern Italy. It is located in between Pulia and Campania, right above Calabria. The region is characterized by mountains, parks and coastlines to the east and west. Basilicata’s geography also includes the volcanic Monte Vulture, as well as the faults in Melfi, Potenza and Monte Pollino areas. These physical features are responsible for the variable Mediterranean and continental climates in Basilicata.
The food and wine of Basilicata are also impacted by it’s geography. Typical foods include pork, lamb, fish, olive oil, peppers and vegetables all nourished and grown in their volcanic soil.
Naturally, the wine grapes are also grown in their volcanic and clay soils, giving them a distinctive taste. Basilicata has 4 DOC designations. The most notorious is none other than the Aglianico del Vulture made from the Aglianico grape. In fact, Aglianico del Vulture Superiore was recently promoted to DOCG status in 2011. The other DOC wines are Matera, Terre dell’Alta Val d’Agri and Grottino di Roccanova. Basilicata does not just produce quality red wines, but also some DOC whites using Malvasia, Moscato and Trebbiano grapes. Additionally, there are many other tasty wines produced as Vino da Tavola (table wine) or wine using the IGT classification in Basilicata. The whites include Greco, Bianco and Spumante. We poured one of them recently.
As we have had Basilicata on the brain, in accordance with the #ItalianFWT group selection earlier this month, we decided to open another wine from this region.This time, we tasted a 2014 Basilium Terre dei Portali Greco-Fiano. When we posted about the Basilicata region initially, I actually bypassed this wine, which was already in my possession, for the red Aglianico del Vulture. While that was tasty, I clearly underestimated this wine. What a mistake! However, here we are now. This wine was beyond expectations, and is a delicious white wine that I would serve at any dinner party. It is a wine that any white wine lover would appreciate. In fact, it is a wine that any wine lover would enjoy.
When we opened it, I did not realize that it was from a winemaker or winery whose wine’s I have been enjoying for quite some time. Villa Farnia di Farnese, based in Abruzzo, is also the winery that produces the boutique Basilium Terre dei Portali. I have enjoyed their Montelpuciano d’ Abruzzo, Pecorino and Trebbiano wines. This wine was consistent with their good taste and quality in production.
Basilium Terre dei Portali Greco-Fiano was a mix of the two southern Italian grapes, 60% Greco and 40% Fiano. Greco grapes can be white (greco bianco) or black (greco nero). This wine used the greco bianco grapes, as it was a white wine. Greco bianco is known to be very aromatic and herbal.The Fiano grape is another white wine grape that is strong and aromatic. These grapes tend to ripen early and yield crisp, well-balanced wines. The color was a golden yellow. On the nose was a bouquet of fresh, tropical fruits. To the palate, there were crisp notes of peach, melons, honey and herbs. It was light and gave off a certain minerality that I have yet to taste in another wine. Perhaps, this can be attributed to the volcanic and clay soils that come with the territory in the Basilicata region. This Basilicatan wine was well-balanced with just the right amount of acidity. It was excellent!
Basilium Terre dei Portali Greco-Fiano consisted of 12% ABV and is a versatile wine that can be sipped as an aperitif or paired with typical Italian appetizers, meats and cheeses, as well as pork and roasted chicken. We paired it with the latter–roasted chicken thighs, rice and a mixed salad with pecorino cheese.
Have you tried any wines from Basilicata?
Read our other post about the beauty, food and wine of Basilicata and Aglianico del Vuture Wine and Veal Osso Bucco.
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