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 50 years old so impressive that he decided to change his and his family’s destiny.
The 2018 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo requires some time to open in the glass, showing a bit of reduction in its young state. The dark, floral-laced black cherry beneath is unmistakable, as are the smoky mineral tones that evolve alongside. Here I find wonderfully silky textures, ushering in ripe red and blue fruits, offset by tactile minerals that saturate all that they touch. This comes across as both ample yet also refined. The finish is like a basket of sweet violets and cherries, perfectly framed by round tannins. The 2018 is one of the best young vintages I’ve tasted of Tiberio’s Montepulciano. 2022 – 2030
Bright ruby. Pungent, very penetrating but perfumed floral nuances complement decadent red cherry, plum and herbal aromas and flavours. Fresh and juicy, but with very good stuffing and smooth tannins providing support on the long, lively finish that features a rising, mildly aromatic note of varnish and pine cone. Ever since I tasted the 2018 Tiberio Montepulciano from tank I have been impressed by its perfume and sweetness; there is a decadent, super-ripe quality to its aromas and flavours that is not just intriguing (in that it is at once so atypical and rare) but also decadent without falling into the overripe or caricatural. In effect, some of that sultry sweetness has given way to more resiny, pine cone notes, but the overall olfactory profile is unique and almost Pinot Noir-like. The wine smells as if it were made with whole bunches or put through at least a partial carbonic maceration, and yet neither of those two techniques have been used here. Go figure: what can I say? Not much, except very well done. Drinking window: now-2026
A pleasing mix of wild cherry and blackberry melds with freshly chopped mint and alpine herbs on the nose. There’s tension, grip and juiciness to the berry fruit on the palate, with smoothed tannins and fresh acidity lending support. A gentle tug of berry skins lingers on the close, making this a fresh, savory expression of the variety.