Wine Review: Unico Zelo River Sand Fiano 2021

East End Cellars sommelier, Iris Zhang, reviews Unico Zelo’s Riversand Fiano, describing the wine as “one of the most delicious fianos” encountered.

Photo credit: Unizo Zelo

Unico Zelo is the project of winemaking couple Brendan and Laura Carter. Being winemakers, they are superbly passionate about the soil and produce in Australia.

Their ultimate mission is to showcase products that embrace Australian native ingredients and pay homage to the custodianship of the indigenous people who maintained the land for thousands of years.

As they often say, their vision is to create “Italian-inspired, textural and site-expressive wines” and “Australian examples of Mediterranean varieties in an approachable and jovial fashion.”

Today, Unico Zelo fosters a new wine community by crafting playful and approachable wines, working with climatically appropriate varieties that showcase Australian terroir.

Unico Zelo champions varieties like Fiano and Nero d’Avola, crafted with a focus on drinkability and storytelling flavour. These varieties require little to no irrigation, even in the hottest regions in the country.

Not only do Unico Zelo people enjoy crafting drinks, but they also love doing it in the most sustainable and non-impactful way possible. It’s a certified B corporation, dedicated to being held to the highest verified standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability.

Unico Zelo River Sand Fiano 2021

Beautiful textual dry white that you do not want to miss out on

The Riverland region has become a hotbed for some of the country’s most delicious (and certainly best value) Fianos, a reputation further amplified by this delicious texture-bomb from Unico Zelo young guns Brendan and Laura Carter.

Coming from a warmer climate and growing in iron-rich sand on limestone, Brendan and Laura’s ‘River Sands’ version of this variety is all about texture, richness and upfront drinkability.

This is their “daily-drinking Fiano”! A great representation of the Riverland region and one of the most delicious Fianos we’ve encountered.

Tasting notes

Lovely briney, vermouth-esque aromatics, plenty of wormwood and green olive under River Sand’s trademark whiffs of nectarine and a little grilled almond too.

The slick, oily mouthfeel is there, as always, but with a bit more check and balance this year. With the Riverland, it’s pretty easy for this wine to be fruit dominant, but even 2021 threw perfect balance the Riverland’s way.

The River Sand Fiano has a lovely lemon juice-riddled salty acid line, before rolling into a wholemeal, toasty complexity. It is the most refined example of this wine we’ve seen yet.

Cost: $35 (click here to buy)

Food Pairing: Mushroom Risotto, Roast Chicken and Gnocchi

This article was written by East End Cellars Sommelier, Iris Zhang. East End Cellars is premium wine cellar located in the Adelaide CBD. To learn more, visit the East End Cellars website.

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