Tiberio with Jamie Adams
The story of Azienda Agricola Tiberio rings more like a new world tale than one from the old world of the ancient lands beneath the Majella and Gran Sasso mountains in Abruzzo. At 350 meters, twenty three miles inland from the seaside city of Pescara near the hillside town of Cugnoli, Riccardo Tiberio found an old plot of Trebbiano Abruzzese vines roughly 60 years old so impressive that he decided to change his and his family’s destiny. He knew that Trebbiano Abruzzese vines were a rarity and not at all to be confused with Trebbiano Toscano and other similar-looking but altogether different varieties that had been mistakenly planted instead. As the export manager for a well known cantina in the region, Riccardo knew well what Abruzzo grapes could offer and what the modern world expected. He made the plunge in 2000, purchasing the 8 hectare old vine plot of Trebbiano Abruzzese with 31 hectares of land suitable for his single estate wines. Guided by decades of personal experience and one of Italy’s most renowned nurseries, Riccardo planted a selection of indigenous varieties matched to the different soil characteristics in the vineyard. Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Trebbiano Abruzzese, and Aglianico, were planted along with Pecorino and Moscato di Castiglione clones from ancient vines in the area. Experiments with small plantings of international varietals were also undertaken. When Tiberio released its first vintage in 2004 the wine cognoscenti took notice of Tiberio’s mineral whites and fruit forward reds.
In 2008, Riccardo Tiberio handed over the reins of the winery to his highly competent children, daughter Cristiana and son Antonio. The role of agronomist goes to Antonio while Cristiana handles the winemaking duties. Cristiana is a chemistry graduate and teaches college level winemaking chemistry and sommelier classes. She has an impressive list of training stints including Jacques Selosse in Champagne, Nicolas Joly at Coulee de Serrant, Egon Muller in the Mosel, and various producers in Chablis. She has even been “down under” to Australia’s Clare Valley. In 2011 she took over all the winemaking duties and is now solely responsible for the wines made at the estate. You can assume from her resume that structure and minerality are key to her style. While Cristiana has traveled the world, she believes “that you can only truly make a wine with the greatest expression of the place if you have lived there and really understand the climate and sense of the place.”
The rolling Abruzzo hills, which slope down from the Apennines toward the Adriatic Sea are characterized by mild sea breezes and cool air currents coming in from the mountainous massif of the Majella. The region was home to ancient Roman villae rusticate, large organized agricultural entities, and grapes were among the many crops grown. Although the land is ancient Roman in history, Cristiana and Antonio have a modern perspective in the cellar and tend their vineyards with a farmer’s care.
In 2011, Antonio and Cristiana decided to uproot the international varieties and to replace them with more Pecorino and Trebbiano Abruzzese. They chose to use massal selections from their oldest vines because over the years they found that their massal selections gave much deeper, more complex, and altogether better wines than those made from clonal selections. Tiberio’s Trebbiano Abruzzese vines are especially noteworthy as they are not just amongst the oldest in Abruzzo but because they are the real thing. True Trebbiano Abruzzese is rare; much of Abruzzo’s vineyards are actually planted to Bombino Bianco, Mostosa, and Trebbiano Toscano which were until very recently routinely confused with Trebbiano Abruzzese. However, while the four share similar features they are distinct varieties. Trebbiano Abruzzese is the most noble of the four, producing wines that while delicate and light bodied have greater depth and complexity. Also noteworthy is that Tiberio’s Pecorino vines, planted in 2001, are amongst the oldest in the region.
This week for “Why Not Wednesday” we are excited to have Jamie Adams, good friend and VP of sales for The Sorting Table. Sorting Table is a tremendous importer of and advocate for family owners wineries.
Colle Vota Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2014 :: $58 sale $52
The Montepulciano that grows in the Colle Vota vineyard has different characteristics that separate it neatly from all the other Montepulciano grown in the vineyards at Tiberio. The grape bunches and berries are much smaller, with crunchier and thicker skins. Intense, expressive, highly complex flavours of yellow peach, sage, cedar, cinnamon, marzipan, spices and soil. Long, deep, creamy, mouth filling texture with refined, silky tannins and saline character. Finishes with intense energy.
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2015 :: $24 sale $21
Bright dark ruby-red. The wine exhibits aromas of sour cherry, red berries, blood orange, minerals and aromatic spices, complemented by cola nuances. On the palate, juicy finish spreads out to saturate the palate, finishing with noble tannins. An excellent accompaniment to steaks, tomato and meat pasta dishes, venison, and cheese.
Pecorino Colline Pescaresi IGP 2015 :: $28 sale $24
Full, bright yellow. Intense aromas of peach, green fig, sage, rosemary. Sappy and dense, conveying a bright herbal impression to the stone fruit and mint flavors. The saline finish is nicely extended by harmonious lemony acidity. An excellent accompaniment to seafood, pasta, white meet, cheese.
Trebbiano d’Abruzzo DOP :: 2016 $24 sale $21
Transparent brilliant, light yellow with green tinges. Fresh aromas of apricot, grapefruit, jasmine and orange blossom, anise. Crisp and clean with zippy aromas and flavors of green apple, anise and almond. On the palate, finishes with noteworthy balance, length and sneaky concentration. An excellent accompaniment to seafood and vegetable appetizers, freshwater fish, eggs, fried food.
Meridian Hive was founded by Mike Simmons and Eric Lowe. Originally introduced by mutual friends in Austin’s close knit home brewing scene, the two quickly realized they shared a passion for both diversity and quality in their brewing and wine making endeavors. Individually, each had won various awards across many styles of beer, wine and mead. Together, in 2012 they built The Hive – and began the journey of scaling a hobby and a passion into a commercial meadery.
We start sippin’ and tastin’ at 4pm. Hope you can make it! Tag your pics #pickitupatpearl and #Neverabadbottle so we can CHEERS!
Discover why 5280 Magazine Readers and Editors voted Pearl Wine Company Denver’s BEST BOTTLE SHOP. PWC takes pride in being Denver’s best wine shop–a craft liquor specialty store. Conveniently located on South Pearl Street in Denver’s Platt Park neighborhood.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]