After a two-year wait, Ballandean Estate is releasing its single-vineyard Fiano vintage, just in time for the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers. In Roman times, Fiano was called Apianum, derived from the Latin word for bees, who swarm en masse around ripe Fiano berries given the chance.
Estate manager Robyn Puglisi-Henderson says,
Our Fiano has high acidity, a hint of nut and an almost honeyed texture — a bit of sting to it! It’s a lighter bodied, rich and textural dry unwooded white, with a blend of tropical and stone fruits on the palate, blessed with a honey, biscuit and floral bouquet.
Ballandean Estate sells out of Fiano every vintage, our last release was in 2020. This year, we’ve made just 235 cases.
When we were deciding where to plant Fiano here, we tried many different styles from Australia and Italy. What we found was that most Australian Fianos are fruit-driven and reminiscent of sauvignon blanc. Italian Fianos, on the other hand, are much more complex at higher alcohols, which we preferred. We pick our Fiano at around 13 Baume to build weight in the palate. This year, we were able to pick 3 tonnes from the half a hectare we have planted.”
Master of Wine Peter-Scudamore-Smith says,
Winemaker Dylan Rhymer continues to finesse Ballandean Estate’s Fiano, building sophistication as it evolves to a stylish and savoury tasty style with fruit-driven aromas. The 2021 vintage has the tell-tale hints of ripe melon sweetness, lifted by sweet mint and white flowers, a result of the high ripeness of the fruit when picked at 13 Baume.
There’s restraint and sophistication here. This comes with whole bunch pressing, as it extracts some savoury stem and skin flavours also. So the palate is more sublime and savoury than the previous vintages of juicy fruit, sweet mouth flavours. The commendable lengthy finish: always the higher crispy acid, such a clean expression of Granite Belt’s terroir and cooler climate.”
A Strange Bird™ Wine Trail stand-out, Ballandean Estate is famed for its Fiano. The 2021 Fiano vintage is now available for tasting and sale at the cellar door and for sale online. Fiano was first planted in Queensland in 2009 by Angelo Puglisi, the father of Queensland wine and Ballandean Estate founder.