2017 Cantine I Favati, Fiano di Avellino DOCG, Pietramara, Campania, Italy -photo grapelive

2017 Cantine I Favati, Fiano di Avellino DOCG, Pietramara, Campania, Italy.
The 2017 I Favati Fiano di Avellino starts with a masculine intensity with rustic elements that remind me of a combination of Roussanne and Gruner Veltliner with faint notes of lees/smoke, bacon and leather along with a essence nutty and bitter almond before opening to reveal a more graceful side including acacia and lime blossom, crushed stone along with peach, green melon, lemon/lime and earthy pear fruits. While not as well known as Mastroberardino and Feudi di San Gregorio, Cantine I Favati has gained a reputation for quality and is admired for the clarity and purity of their wines, especially their highly regarded Fiano wines, like this one. The I Favati winery is run by the Favati family, led by Giancarlo Favati, who is the Managing Director and his brother Piersabino Favati, who oversees the vines as Vineyard Manager, Rosanna Petrozziello, wife of Giancarlo, is the face of the winery, a professional sommelier and who is marketing director for the I Favati brand, while the highly respected Carmine Valentino is the winemaker at I Favati, making for a tight ship. I Favati’s winemaking facility, which located in the town of Cesinali, is according to their US importer Vinity Wines, the crown jewel of the winery. It was built in 1998 and the first wine produced was their Fiano di Avellino in the 2000 vintage. The cellar is equipped with the most advanced winemaking technology, and as the winery puts it, it complements the careful and hard work in the vineyards providing I Favati with a great base to craft their wines that includes a lineup of Fiano di Avellino D.O.C.G., Greco di Tufo D.O.C.G, and a Aglianico d’Irpinia I.G.T. which recently gained DOC status with one year of aging in small oak barrels, as well as a fourth wine that qualifies as a Taurasi D.O.C.G. that was bottled for the first time in 2003 and released in 2007.

This remarkable yellow/golden hued Fiano di Avellino evolves in the glass with richer mouth feel and gains dramatically with air adding layers with every sip, including some kumquat, dried pineapple, citrus rind and salty wet rocks. I Favati sourced this from their estate owned and farmed Pietramara Vineyard, set on clay and mineral rich soils, which is still very young with a vine age of just under 10 years. The Fiano is macerated, fermented and lees aged in 100% temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, which is reflected in the transparent flavors and brisk detailing in this 2017 Pietramara, it is a wine that really revels in food pairings, in particular it goes fantastic with squid dishes, as well as most fish and seafood like coastal Italian and California cuisines. Almost since its beginning, Favati’s Fiano has had stunning reviews, scoring many Tre Bicchieri awards going back to 2003 and it only gets better and more intriguing with each new vintage, and while this starts a bit rustic and chewy, it really comes around and performs with aplomb. I Favati is one of my go to wineries in Campania along with De Conciliis and the legendary Marisa Cuomo, who is located in Furore on the famed Amalfi Coast. Some of the most underrated white grapes in Italy are the sexy threesome of Greco di Tufo, Falanghina and Fiano, who’s best expression seems to be as a solo effort from Avellino, like here in I Favati’s Pietramara, and they all can aged well too, with this 2017 edition looking like it can age easily for another 5 to 7 years, though very good now.
($26 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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