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What our expert thought of Fox Gordon, 'Princess', Fiano




the tasting

The Tasting


Though the wine is a fairly pale lemon colour, it still displays notably strong legs when swirled: thick, slow-moving tears on the side of the glass that hint at high levels of extract.  (Or alcohol, though the label and website says 13.0% and Aussies are usually very accurate on this.)
 
The nose is quite powerful and distinctively different, with lots of layers to it.  An initial floral impression of honeysuckle is soon joined by a strong herbal one, akin to thai basil, with perhaps a hint of sage.  Spicy lemongrass continues the Asian theme, underpinned by stony, tangerine-peel citrus.  After plenty of air a honeyed note emerges, though the wine doesn’t smell at all sweet.
 
In the mouth this has an intensity of unoaked flavours that almost disguises its dryness and very fresh acidity.  This is a big, full-bodied wine, with ripe, juicy flavours of fresh nectarine, greengage and mandarin orange.  It has a mouthcoating, melon-skin texture, probably from lees aging, which is particularly apparent on the afterpalate and finish.
 
Spicy and textured, the finish has a leesy stoniness reminiscent of good Muscadet, though it’s rather fruitier.  It’s nutty too, leaving a lasting impression of pine nuts.


Assessment


“Ogres are like onions,” explains Shrek to Donkey, “…we both have layers.” This wine’s layered complexity suggests that his Princess has them too, which is not surprising given what happens to her every sunset.
 
Ogres are green, though, and while this does have green herbs on the nose, the ripeness of the palate suggests yellow fruit, and lots of it.  Lees-aging and big fruit flavours are a hard act to pull off, but this wine manages it brilliantly.
 
Most of all, though, I love how different and distinctive this is.  It’s clearly not made from any of the usual suspects, and while I wouldn’t have been able to identify Fiano before, I think I might now.  Expect to see lots more of this grape.



Tasting notes

Appearance
clear pale-ish lemon, prominent legs
Nose

Intensity medium+

Aromas floral (honeysuckle), herbal (thai basil, sage), spice (lemongrass), stony but ripe citrus (tangerine peel), honey (with air)

Development developing
Palate

Sweetness dry

Acidity medium+

Body full

Intensity medium++

Flavours ripe & juicy, stone fruit (nectarine, greengage), citrus (mandarin), lees (stony, melon skin) esp. on afterpalate
Finish

Length medium

Flavours as palate, spicy, textured, lees (Muscadet-like stoniness), nuts (pine nuts) esp. at very end
Other notes
Unoaked. Poweful, distinctive, different. Will age. Has improved since opening, becoming more integrated as well as losing buised-petal reductive scents.


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