A CREAM IMPORT SELECTION
Country of Origin: Italy
Location: Summonte, Campania
People: Ciro & Rita Picarello, Owners | Ciro Picarello, Winemaker
Viticulture: Practicing Organic
Ciro Picariello is one of the star producers of Fiano di Avellino. He and his wife started their winery in 1997 but their first vintage under their own label was not until 2004. Their seven hectares of vineyards are located at relatively high elevation in the province of Campania. Ciro's vineyards are about equally divided between Montefredane (1,600 feet above sea level) and Summonte (2,100 feet). The Fiano grapes are picked in late October, very late for white wine. The grapes are picked by hand and carefully sorted in the winery. Only the first press is used in the DOCG Fiano. Stainless steel fermentation occurs with native yeast. The Fiano DOCG is aged on its fine lees until the end of the following summer (plus several months more in bottle before release). The Irpinia Fiano and the reds are aged for a shorter time. Use of SO2 is minimal, and the wines are not filtered or fined.
When young, Picariello's Fianos are lively, minerally and bracing, redolent of apple, white peach and hazelnut, with a strong flinty character imparted by the volcanic soils of the region. Picariello’s Fiano Di Avellino wine drinks well on release, but can also age beautifully, 10-15 years easily (Fiano is one of the few Italian whites that drink lovely with age). The Irpinia Fiano is a second selection and shows essentially the same characteristics as the DOCG but with less dramatic mineral and stony notes, perfect for current drinking. It could easily compete with many of the top Fiano’s on the market.
Vinous Media 11/2016
"Ciro Picariello makes some of Campania’s most sought-after wines. The stellar Fiano di Avellio is made with grapes grown in the very high-quality areas of Summonte and Montefredane, and sees minimal-intervention winemaking: only the juice from the first press fraction and indigenous yeasts are used, very little sulfur dioxide is added and the wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered. Fiano wines age well in general, but Picariello’s especially so; should you find an eight- or ten-year-old bottle languishing on some restaurant wine list (unlikely in Italy), don’t hesitate to try it."
Vinous Media 9/2015
"This is a family-run operation in the true sense of the word, as the estate’s seven hectares are tended to by Ciro, viticulturalist and winemaker, his wife Rita and his children Emma and Bruno. The name of the game at Picariello is Fiano, a variety Ciro excels with; in my view, his is one of the top five Fiano di Avellinos in Campania today. This very steely, precise wine is made with indigenous yeasts, sees minimal lees stirring, and is aged entirely in stainless steel. It's bottled without fining or filtration and ages extremely well: holding onto bottles for a decade or more is not a risk. It certainly helps that Picariello owns vineyards in two favored areas for Fiano, Summonte (at roughly 600 meters) and Montefredane (at 500 meters), but anyone with even a little experience with the world’s great white wines will recognize Picariello’s talent with just one sip of this wine. Picariello is now also making a very good Greco di Tufo wine that is worth seeking out."