From: Abruzzo, Italy
Tasting Notes: Deep straw yellow. Intense aromas of sage, rosemary, green fig, peach, and yellow melon. Full-bodied with a lingering minerality.
Pecorino is an ancient variety that has always called the mountainous Appennine ridges of the Marche and Abruzzo its home. A low yielding variety due to sterility of the basal buds, over the centuries farmers shied away from it preferring instead to plant easier to grow, more productive varieties. Therefore Pecorino was all but forgotten, and nearly extinct by the 1970s. Times change and today high yields are less important than they once were: modern day wine lovers now clamor for high quality grape varieties. Capable of giving distinctive wines, and Pecorino fills that bill nicely.
The grape is characterized by essentially round leaves and small round very thick skinned berries. The wine is rich in glycerol but also endowed with high total acidity, thereby offering a unique combination of texture and vibrancy. In fact, Pecorino wines have become so popular that much Pecorino has been planted recently, however the grape variety always performs best in hilly vineyard sites rather than flatland areas, which are not its natural habitat.
Pairing: Pair this with seafood, pasta, poultry, or cheese.
92 Points -Vinous
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. 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.
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