We should not be swayed by fancy labels. It’s what’s in the bottle that counts. That’s true, of course, but nevertheless, Unico Zelo bottles do look amazing. Perhaps the labels reflect the name, which can be translated from the Italian as ‘unique zeal’ or ‘single-minded ardour’ or ‘individual fervour’. The labels lead you to expect something interesting and deliciously different in the bottle, and that’s exactly what you get.
Brendan and Laura Carter founded Unico Zelo in 2012. They are on a mission – to make distinctively Australian wines from the Italian grape varieties that grow so well here. They are especially enamoured of fiano, the ancient white variety of Campania, inland from Naples and Salerno in southern Italy. They make six different South Australia versions and this six-pack includes two bottles each of three of them: Unico Zelo Jade and Jasper Fiano 2017 – from the Riverland comes this fragrant, fleshy fiano with all but irresistible drinkability; Unico Zelo Riversand Fiano 2016 – also Riverland, but from a completely different site, this expression is refined, precise and crisp; Unico Zelo Slate Farm Fiano 2016 – from Polish Hill River in the Clare Valley comes a rich, spicy, lime-flecked fiano.
Fiano makes a dry white wine with a faint hazelnut scent – fresh-flavoured and aromatic with hints of honey. Spicy and nutty notes play in the background. It will appeal to all open-minded white wine drinkers.