Tiberio

Fonte Canale Trebbiano d’Abruzzo – 2019

Region: Italy - Abruzzo

Tiberio

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

Trebbiano d’Abruzzo DOP vineyard in Cugnoli.

  • Massal selection, propagated from original, indigenous grapes found on the property
  • Vineyard Area:  1500 Ha / 3707 acres
  • Altitude: 350 meters
  • Soils: Limestone, marly-clay over sandstone-rich bedrock
  • Vine Training System: Canopy
  • Planting density: 2500 vines/Ha
  • Vine Age: 92 years
  • Yield: 28 Hl/Ha
Winemaker's Notes
  • Hand harvested the end of September
  • Free run juice only
  • Fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks using only indigenous yeasts
  • No malolactic fermentation
  • Aged in tank
  • Bottled unfined and unfiltered
  • Bottle aged for a few months before release
Wine Summary

100% Trebbiano d’Abruzzese massal selection grapes, original to property; alcohol: 12.5%; 92 year old vines planted in limestone, marly-clay soils over sandstone-rich bedrock; fermented in stainless steel tanks using only indigenous yeasts; no secondary fermentation; aged in tanks; bottled unfined and unfiltered, bottle aged for a few months before release.

Technical Information
  • 100% massal selection Trebbiano Abruzzese
  • Alcohol: 12.5%
Miscellaneous

Straw yellow with green tinges. A very mineral, luminous wine, with apricot, tangerine, green apple, lemon peel with white flower and anise nuances. Crystalline, vibrant and precise. The palate is tactile and rich, with a focused beam of lemony acidity. A long harmonious finish with creamy texture and flinty minerality.

Reviews

94 Points

A dazzling bouquet of honeyed flowers, young mango, apricot, flinty stone and sweet smoke make the 2019 Trebbiano d’Abruzzo Fonte Canale impossible to ignore. It’s savory and supremely soft textured, pushing its pure orchard fruits forward and allowing its minerality to play a supporting role, which creates a sense of undeniable elegance and balance. The 2019 lingers incredibly long, leaving a salty stain and tension that tugs at the palate; pretty inner florals and hints of ginger slowly fade. The production of the 2019 Fonte Canale was down by 20% due to the cold conditions during flowering. 2024 – 2031

It’s amazing to think about what Cristiana and Antonio Tiberio have accomplished in such a small amount of time, but what’s even more amazing is how humble they’ve remained throughout the process, and how, unknowingly, they have pushed the entire region of Abruzzo forward by leaps and bounds. The Tiberio winery and vineyards are located in Cugnoli within the hilly interior of Abruzzo and in between two valleys formed by Gran Sasso and Maiella. This location, at around 380 meters, is very particular, as the two valleys funnel ventilating winds through the vineyards during the day and cooling currants at night. While standing amongst Cristiana Tiberio’s 70-year-old, double-pergola-trained vines and admiring the well-shaded Trebbiano Abruzzese that creates the Fonte Canale bottling, one will immediately notice that the wind never seems to die down. It’s because of this that, even in the warmest of years, these vines remain vital and balanced. Tiberio’s vineyards are contiguous, running along the gently sloping hills of the region, and all planted through massal selection using the original Montepulciano, Trebbiano Abruzzese and Pecorino that were found in the vineyard that Cristiana’s father discovered in 1999. In more recent years, the differences of terroir have made certain parcels stand out, such as the Colle Vota vineyard, where vines grow in sandy soils mixed with a large amount of rocks and produce a Montepulciano that is more ethereal and mineral in style. Simply through soil alone, these 20-year-old vines produce larger berries, smaller, more compact bunches and result in a much-later harvest than the rest of the vineyard. Terroir is not something that the average producer speaks of in Abruzzo, yet it’s the focus at Tiberio. The family has continued to bottle their estate Montepulciano (a blend of their vineyards and one of the best values of the region) but also the old-vine Archivio and the aforementioned Colle Vota. In every vintage, both of these single vineyard wines demonstrate their uniqueness, and are now two of the best reds being made in the region. Year after year, tasting through this portfolio gives me hope for all of Abruzzo, as it shows what’s truly possible on a large scale if producers begin to look more at the earth beneath their feet and less at high production and winemaking wizardry.

Vinous, October, 2022

94+ Points

Pale green-tinged yellow. Pure crushed rock, fresh citrus fruits and flinty minerality on the inviting nose, gaining noteworthy intensity with aeration. Fresh and juicy, complex and very refined, but manages the neat trick of being simultaneously thick and weightless. Best today on the mounting finish, which saturates the palate with iodiney minerality and repeating lemon and lime flavours; strikes me as rounder than usual (“rounder” with Fonte Canale is a very relative term) most likely because of the year’s low yields and cooler weather that increased hang time and in so doing, blessed the wine with greater complexity and a less angular personality. Even at this early age, the 2019 Fonte Canale still conveys the essential style of the vintage, a direct result of the area’s growing season character traits. Very different from the showier 2018, but each will have its fans. 2026 – 2035

Terroir Sense - Ian D'Agata, August, 2022

18 Points

Brilliant intense straw. Hazelnuts and cedro (citron) and orange pith. Crystal-like acidity, super-taut and linear. Lip-smacking finish. Stunning. 2023 – 2032

JancisRobinson.com, April, 2023

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