From Our Cellar

Francesca Fiasco Lapazio IGT Paestum Bianco 2021

White Blend
Francesca Fiasco

More Wines from Francesca Fiasco

Our tasting impressions

My, but this has a riveting nose. It has ample energy and lift and the finish is smooth and satisfying.  There are some lovely citrus flavors - as one would expect from the 2 leading grape characters - but it's also zesty, spicy and full of minerals. Campania produces some outstanding white wines, but we can't recall one with this much presence and poise. Tasting the 2018 with Francesca, we were struck by how much its mouthfeel and refinement reminded us of premier cru Chassagne. This younger version has some of that too (how does she get all that texture and body without it seeming worked or oaky). Delightful now, this likely will mature into something really gorgeous.


About this wine

The first Lapazio since 2018 (wild boars ate all the grapes for the prior 2 vintages) and just the 3rd produced. The blend is 40% Fiano, 40% Falanghina, 10% Coda di Volpe and 10% other native varieties. They grow in fine-grained clay embedded in rock at 450 meters.

Grapes were manually harvested starting on October 6th, with strict selection of the best fruit. A cold maceration is done with the skins for 48 hours. Fermentation, at 16-18° C, occurs for 70% in tonneaux and 30% in stainless steel tanks. It ages in the same vessels on the lees for 5 months before blending into bottles. Release is 2 months later, at the earliest. 2,720 bottles produced in 2021.

About the grape blend

Fiano is one of Southern Italy's most noble white grapes. It is a low-yielding grape whose character is highly dependent on terroir. Resulting wines can range from angular and mineral-driven to nutty and rich. The best wines are capable of long and productive aging. Falanghina, which may have been the most famous wine grape of Ancient Rome, provides acidity and mineral and floral flavors. Coda di Volpe (tail of the fox) is based on the resemblance of its long, hanging grape bunches to a fox tail. It contributes fruit, spice and structure.


Francesca's thoughts on the vintage 

2021 began with a very harsh winter. Spring arrived end of May with a rise in temperatures followed by a blast of Atlantic air that plunged temperatures to freezing. This compromised some early buds and reduced production. The rest of spring was somewhat rainy until mid-May, when beautiful sunny days arrived. Summer started temperate but was mostly hot and dry until a rainy front from the east brought conditions back to normal. This allowed the vines to recover and the grapes to reach
phenolic ripeness with good balance. The maturation was perfect and the harvest in the coolest hours went smoothly. 


On your table

We vote for Poke. The wine marries well with the fresh flavors of the raw fish. Add a creamy sauce - so it's not overwhelmed by the body of the wine - and some extra briny elements like nori, tobiko, etc..

Francesca Fiasco


Francesca Fiasco is young, passionate and driven. Since 2015, she has relentlessly worked the land and cellar her grandparents started many decades ago in the beautiful Cilento National Park (a preserve that prohibits any industrial activity).  Everything she knows about farming and wine she learned from her Nonno. More than 90 years old, Luigi still tends the vines.


From the 6.5 hectare farm (comprised of various small vineyards), Francesca produces less than 20,000 bottles per year from a mixture of traditional local grapes, some typical of other regions of Italy and one conspicuous interloper from France - Cabernet Sauvignon. Production of her 4 wines is unconventional - it's Nonno's way - but the results are remarkable. The expectation from a farm like this, in an area like this, is that the wines will be rustic, simple and honest. Instead, we find sophistication and complexity without compromising a clear expression of the place they come from.


To say that this is manual labor is an understatement. It starts with the grapes for each wine being harvested separately and concludes with Francesca writing notes on each case of wine leaving her cellar. Her devotion and determination are undeniable. The wines from Paestum may not be well-known or highly regarded but don't tell her that - nor does anyone who has tasted her wines much care. Wow, what a discovery! Only the great story of this family and Francesca's project can outshine her wines.