“Piante a Lapio”, Campania Fiano
Raffaele’s “Piante a Lapio” is truly outside of category. Made from 80-to-100-year-old Fiano planted in Lapio’s high-altitude volcanic soils, it is fermented spontaneously in casks of chestnut and acacia from local forests, and aged in those same vessels for nearly five years with no topping up. Incredibly, it develops a yeast veil just as a Jura wine would, although “Piante a Lapio” is marked notably less by veil-derived elements than a Jura Savagnin. This unorthodox aging regimen manifests itself in a combination of breadth and salinity, but variety-typical notes of lemon confit and jasmine still manage to ring strongly through the wine’s manifold layers. A stunning testament to Raffaele’s unique vision, “Piante a Lapio” avoids any trace of gimmickry and comes across as a wholly singular and profound creation.