Posted on May 7th, 2009
Fiore di Campo 2006 is made by family-owned Lis Neris. They’re based in the north east of Italy, in a village called San Lorenzo which is just south of the border with Slovenia.
The wine area is know collectively as Friuli-Venezia Giulia and the Fiore di Campo 2006 is made from a local grape, the Tocai Friuliano.
The climate there favours a slow and steady growth season which generally results in more balanced maturation and more solid flavours.
How does the Fiore di Campo taste?
This is a white wine with a bit of body, though not overpowering. It certainly doesn’t come with a citrus zest. Rather, the acidity is moderate and has a more nutty, peach stone (or “stone fruit” as they say in the business) and a toasty flavour going on. Think Scarlett Johannson as opposed to Keira Knightley.
Anyway, this toastiness comes from the wine resting on the lees.
What are lees? Let’s start with God’s greatest gift to man, fermentation. With fermentation, yeast converts the sugar in grapes to alcohol, making wine far more interesting than just grape juice. Anyway, as the sugar is reduced and the alcohol levels rise, the yeast cells die and fall to the bottom of the fermenting tank.
Sometimes, the wine is left with the lees at the bottom of the tank for a prolonged period. You’ll see this on some French wine labels as “sur lie“. This process gives the wine what I’d describe as a distinctive butter on toast flavour. If you’ve tried a couple of wines made in this way, you’ll spot it every time.
Tocai Friuliano: grape name under threat?
The EU have been increasingly strict around the rules on the “place of origin” and Tocai traditionally refers to a region in Hungary, Tokaji, which is famed for its sweet dessert wines.
So, the “Tocai Friulano” may soon just be refered to as just “Friulano”, the same fate that befell Tokay-Pinot Gris from Alsace.
Factsheet for Fiore di Campo 2006 Lis Neris
Growing area: San Lorenzo (Go)
Average age of vines: 10 years
Soil Type: Calcareous gravelly tableland (60m/alt.)
Vine: Tocai Friulano 100%
Training system: Guyot – 5200 vines/ha
Yield per hectare: 55-60 hl/ha
Harvest: By hand
Fermentation: Stainless steel tank (20/22 °C)
Maturation: On the fine lees in the stainless steel tanks
Bottling: 8 months after the harvest
Distribution: 9 months after the harvest
Bottles produced per year: 10,000 (average)
Berry Brothers & Rudd, Harry Street, Dublin