TheWineReporter go back to Campania, in Southern Italy, to talk about a really rampant woman winegrower. She’s Maura Sarno, currently one of the most important names among the Irpinia producers, in the Region hinterland. Her motto was for a long time: “A single land, a single vineyard, a single wine produced: the Fiano di Avellino DOCG”. Surely, this enthusiastic and positive woman is the real key to the success of her own winery, called Tenuta Sarno 1860.
After university studies and a degree in law, the road of Maura seemed already traced, but in 2000 happened a decisive turning point: after the death of her father Domenico, the first notary in Avellino (chief town of Irpinia). Maura left notary’s office: the same (father’s property), where she has worked for 20 years. He therefore decided to manage the family activities and properties, including the land of Candida, where her grandmother already owned some Fiano vines, from which she produced bulk wine.
Tenuta Sarno was founded in 2002. In a first time started restoration work on the land and two years later it planted the first new vines of Fiano. Currently the property is 3 hectares with 7 for rent, but Maura wants to increase the share of the vineyards owned by her: this happens because each new wine vintage runs out quickly in a few months. The heart of everything is Candida (that means “white” in Italian), a small Irpino village of 1,100 inhabitants. There, the wineyard soil il pure, calcareous, always suited to the production of Fiano grapes.
The Maura’s ancestors already cultivated the vine and produced wine since 1860. So, she immediately decided to produce only one wine, but a niche, enhancing the features of native territory. “After selling the grapes for the first years, like most small producers in the same area, in 2009, a few weeks after the harvest – says Maura – I did not conclude the agreement with the buying cellar: I suddenly found myself with about 300 quintals of grapes on the plant that I would not have left there in any way. Thanks to my pride and my determination, I started looking, in real time, an oenologist and a winery where I vinified my grapes “.
The winemaker’s choice has opened new horizons for Maura. The wine maker, much appreciated not only in Campania, is Vincenzo Mercurio. In 2013 the winery was obtained in a small room of the estate. Production has always remained limited: 30,000 bottles for each year.
But today is no longer a single wine in Tenuta Sarano. Recently, also produces a sparkling wine, Charmat method, from Fiano grapes in purity: a very fresh, vintage Pas Dosè that only comes out in the best vintages. Only 7000 bottles.
My Tasting note: Tenuta Sarno 1860 – Fiano di Avellino DOCG 2016. Maura’s Fiano is a certainty of Fiano Irpino. As always, we have to wait a year to be able tasting it and always with great satisfaction. Straw yellow in the glass. Aromas are a beautiful elegant mix of grapefruit, banana, fresh and toasted hazelnuts, white flowers, from which reflected the strong mineral vein of the wine. In the mouth it flows very sapid, fresh, soft, intense, but measured. It has a nice long grapefruit finish. It’s very balanced, consistent and harmonious white whine. A tasty and bursting bomb Fiano di Avellino.
Some technical data: the vines are trained in Guyot in a clayey-calcareous soil in the territory of Candida (Avellino) at an altitude of 630 meters. First vintage produced: 2009. Vinification: soft pressing of the grapes at controlled temperature with selected yeasts. Then aging for 6 months on the fine lees.
Foodmatching: with aperitifs, seafood dishes, fish, shellfish, fresh cheeses and white meat.
If “wine looks like the producer”, I really find in this Fiano glass all the radiance, the grit and the vivacity of the beautiful Maura.
Retail Price: € 13 – $ 15. My Rating: 93/100
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