Archivio Montepulciano d’Abruzzo – 2018

Region: Italy - Abruzzo


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.

Over a decade ago, Cristiana and Antonio, daughter and son of Riccardo, took over reins of Tiberio. Cristiana, a chemistry specialist who also teaches college sommelier and enology classes, handles winemaking and is the global brand ambassador. Antonio leads grapegrowing and viticulture. The dynamic team have established Tiberio, and Abruzzo, in the forefront of leading-edge wine making and renown in this central part of Italy.

The Wine

Vineyard Profile

The Archivio is a “single vineyard” Montepulciano d’Abruzzo coming from a specific 3 acre/1.2 hectare portion of our historical 6.2 acre/2.5 hectare vineyard, planted to 65 years old Montepulciano vines. It is from this vineyard that over the years we identified, selected and then propagated our massal selections of Montepulciano vines with which we have planted all our Montepulciano vineyards.

The Archivio is a special portion of this larger vineyard because it is the only plot on the whole property that has a strong clay presence in the subsoil (limestone soil – subsoil with presence of clay and iron oxide). The Montepulciano that grows in the Archivio vineyard has different characteristics and so do the wines that are made with it. It is from this vineyard that we identified four different Montepulciano biotypes that look and behave differently from other known Montepulciano biotypes and clones. Therefore, it represents our estates’s historical Montepulciano vines library, or archive (hence the wine’s name: “archivio” in Italian translates to archive). The four biotypes have been named after our estate’s dogs, who are as much a part of our family’s history as the wines we make.

Differences between the four biotypes are numerous, but these can be generalized in: one biotype is characterized by smaller round berries with thicker skins that reach full physiologic polyphenol ripeness with greater ease, Tione98; a second biotype that has grapes with thin skins (and therefore a lower skin to pulp ratio with more juice) and higher acidity levels, Quarmari15; a third by a much longer bunch and it is the latest ripening of the four, Diana18 (do keep in mind Montepulciano is a late ripening variety as it is); and a fourth biotype characterized by a very round leaf instead of the more typical multilobed, jagged leaf and by seeds that only rarely turn completely brown (therefore delivering a much more tannic wine that is nonetheless more often than not nobly tannic despite the seeds not turning colour fully) Otto19 .

The spontaneous fermentation carried out with natural, vineyard-specific yeasts only reaches higher temperatures, indicating how this specific yeast population is adapted to a specific environment and able to work at higher temperatures and lead to deeper natural extraction of polyphenols.

The result is a wine that is at once fresh and elegant but also quite powerful, with darker colour, aromas and flavours, and greater density than our other Montepulcianos, a profile that is fully expressive of the wine’s specific terroir. For these reasons, and unlike all our other wines, the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Archivio is partly aged in oak (barriques, 30% new). The use of the barriques is not out of a desire to make an oak-aged wine, but rather a consequence of the wine’s specific characteristics and need for a greater amount of oxygenation.

  • Soils: Limestone, clay subsoil with iron oxides
  • Vineyard Area: 3 acres/1.2 Ha
  • Altitude: 1247 feet/380 meters
  • Vine Training System: 66 years old Pergola Abruzzese – Canopy training system
  • Yield: 40 Hl
Harvest Notes
  • Hand harvested mid-October
  • Spontaneous fermentation with only indigenous yeasts in stainless steel tanks for 40 days
  • Spontaneous malolactic fermentation in stainless steel
  • Aged 12 months in 30% barrique, 70% stainless steel vessels
  • Aged 12 months in bottle
Winemaker's Notes

Archivio is intensely aromatic, powerful and elegant. Smoky red cherry and dark fruits complemented by spices. Violets, roses and liquorice flavors on the palate. Smooth, vibrant and fresh.

Wine Summary

100% massal selection Montepulciano d’Abruzzo grapes from 4 distinct biotypes; alcohol 14.5%; Archivio is a single vineyard wine from our historical 6.2 acre/2.5 ha vineyard with 65 year old vines; strong clay subsoil under limestone soils containing iron oxides; fermented in stainless steel with only indigenous yeasts 40 days; spontaneous malolactic fermentation; aged 12 months in 30% oak barriques, 70% stainless; bottled unfined and unfiltered; aged 12 months in bottle.

Technical Information
  • 100% massal selection Montepulciano d’Abruzzo from 4 different biotypes
  • Alcohol: 14.5%
  • Total Acidity: 4.75 g/l
  • pH: 3.4
  • Residual Sugar: 0.5 g/l
  • Extract: 31.8


96 Points

The 2018 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Archivio is a dark and multifaceted beauty, slowly unwinding in the glass, inward and viral, hauntingly floral, dusty and rooted firmly in the earth. An enthralling mix of smoky grilled herbs, graphite and tart black cherries come together with sage, lifted by dried flowers and hints of fresh mint leaf. It’s rich yet elegant, like crushed velvet draped across the senses, pliant and potent, lifted by brilliant acidity, while staining the palate with citrus-tinged raspberries. There is so much concentration within, echoing purple-tinged florals and lavender tones as this tapers off with incredible length, lightly structured and with a tart wild berry twang. A salty flourish keeps me coming back to the glass. While this may not be as structured as the 2017, the 2018 instead impresses on its immaculate precision and balance. Archivio is produced from the oldest pergola-trained vines on the Tiberio estate, which grow in clay-rich soils. Around 30% of the wine is matured for twelve months in new barrique, yet the integration is perfect. This is a whole new level for Cristiana Tiberio. 2024 – 2032

Vinous, October, 2022

General Info

Country Italy
Region Abruzzo
Appellation(s) Abruzzo
Proprietors Riccardo, Cristiana, Antonio Tiberio (father, daughter, son)
Founded 2000
Winemaker Cristiana Tiberio
Annual Production 8,300 9L cases
Farming (Sustainable, organic, biodynamic) Sustainable