Archivio Montepulciano d’Abruzzo – 2020

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

Archivio is a single vineyard Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOP coming from a specific 3 acre/1.2 hectare portion of our historical 6.2 acre/2.5 hectare vineyard, planted to 67 year old Montepulciano vines. It is from this vineyard that over the years we identified, selected and then propagated massal selections of Montepulciano vines with which we have planted all our Montepulciano vineyards.

The Archivio plot is a special portion of this larger vineyard as its the only plot on the whole property with 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. We identified four different Montepulciano biotypes that look and behave differently from other known Montepulciano biotypes and clones. 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 many. They 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 .

Spontaneous fermentation 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 resulting wine is at once fresh and elegant but also quite powerful, with darker color, aromas and flavors, and greater density than our other Montepulcianos. This profile 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.

  • Vineyard Area: 3 acres/1.2 Ha
  • Altitude: 1247 feet/380 meters
  • Soil: Limestone, clay subsoil with iron oxides
  • Vine Age: 67 years
  • Vine Training System: Pergola Abruzzese – Canopy training system
  • Yield: 45 Hl/Ha
Harvest Notes
  • Hand harvested mid-October
  • Spontaneous fermentation in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks with only native yeasts for 30 days
  • Malolactic fermentation in stainless steel
  • Aged 12 months in 30% new barriques, 70% stainless steel vessels
  • Unfined and unfiltered
  • Aged 12 months in bottle before release
Winemaker's Notes

Purple-tinted dark ruby red. An elegant, profoundly aromatic and powerful wine. Red cherries, smoky dark fruit highlighted by spices. Rose, violet and licorice flavors. The wine is vibrant, fresh and invitingly smooth.

Wine Summary

100% massal selection Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOP grapes from 4 distinct biotypes; alcohol 14.5%; single vineyard wine from historical 6.2 acre/2.5 ha vineyard from 67 year old vines; strong clay subsoil under limestone soils containing iron oxides; fermented in stainless steel with native yeasts 30 days; malolactic fermentation in tank; aged 12 months in 30% new oak barriques, 70% stainless; bottled unfined and unfiltered and aged 12 months in bottle.

Technical Information
  • 100% Montepulciano d’Abruzzo massal selection selection from 4 different biotypes
  • Alcohol: 14.5%
  • Total Acidity: 6.112 g/l
  • pH: 3.50
  • Residual Sugar: 0.8 g/l
  • Extract: 35.6

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