press recognition: http://www.cantinatibaldi.com/news_eventi.asp
Sisters Monica & Daniela come from a long line of Tibaldis, many of whom lie on the same road close to the village of Pocapaglia in the Roero. It was their great grandfather Stefano who began working the vines during the early 20th century, followed by his son Tunin when he wasn’t working in a factory, inspiring the girls to launch the family cantina/winery in 2014. They’re supported by their father Stefano, a gifted ironmonger who doubles up as a ‘trattorista’ (tractor driver) in his spare time, & by their mother Margherita, a cowgirl from Saluzzo. Daniela (& Monica) trained in accountancy, then as a sommelier, while her older sister Monica studied viticulture & enology at Turin University, followed by a further year in Asti & a Masters in Madrid!
They have close to 7ha in total, located in three distinct MGA zones: Mormoré & Bricco delle Passere in the commune of Pocapaglia & the Coste Anforiano vineyard in Santa Vittoria. In Pocapaglia the hilly soils are Miocenic marine sand (stone), rich with fossils in origin, ideal for their two key white grapes/wines: Favorita & Arneis. In 2012 they identified a perfect 0.7ha Nebbiolo vineyard for their Roero DOCG: Coste Anforiano, that lies on limestone white Marne Sant’Agata clay soils, looking across the Tanaro river valley at Verduno; their debut vintage was 2014. They also make some Barbera & Nebbiolo d’Alba.
The whites are classically vinified in stainless steel, using wild yeasts from vintage 2015. The Roero DOCG was initially aged in used barriques but the girls have decided that botti grandi is the future, switching to botti grandi with the 2015 vintage, & then investing in one of 10HL & another of 25HL for the 2016 harvest.
They farm organically, & converting to certified from 2014.
Langhe Favorita ‘Selection Danielle’
Roero Arneis ‘Selection Monic’
2018 Langhe Favorita – tasted on Wednesday 16th January 2019, 12.5%, tasted from tank, to be bottled March’19, a blend of fruit from three vineyards: 70% Mormoré, 20% Bricco delle Passere, 10% Coste Anforiano. Favorita is evidently at home on the white sand banks of Mormoré, originally planted the girls’s grandfather Tunin, & thanks to which the grape is able to express its delicate perfume. Pale, white stone, pebbly, refreshing, almondy, delicate, delicious!
2017 Langhe Favorita – tasted March’18, bottled Feb ’18 with DIAM2, 13.08%abv! No ‘Selection Danielle’ was produced in 2017, as the old Favorita vines struggled with flavoscenza dorata & drought; hence all their fruit was blended in with this ‘super Langhe Favorita!’ Pocapaglia (& the Roero) is famous for Favorita, lending weight to the belief the category should be reclassified as ‘Roero Favorita’! The Tibaldi Favorita fruit comes from two hills close to Pocapaglia: Mormore & Bricco delle Passere; the former lies on sand dune soils at 320m asl, behind the cantina & was first planted by the girls’ grandfather way back. Whole bunch (with stalks), mostly free run & some pressed juice. Love the pale (white?) colour, racy lime spremuta nose, from those loose, open bunches, with shellfish freshness, pebbly, Riesling esque, wonderful pithy (stalky?) texture, so light on its feet, cleansing acidity, drawing on those ancient sandy seabed soils of the Roero!
2016 Langhe Favorita – 12.5% abv, vinified in stainless-steel, bottled March 2017; from their Mormoré vineyard/hill, pale, almost white in colour, a light, racy, refreshing nose of lime, spring nettles, pebbly, really distinct, cool crunch, refreshingly delicate, floral, light on its feet & incredibly good to drink so fresh, sapid & young! Light as a feather. Salty. Delicious with fresh anchovies. 9k bts
2014 Langhe Favorita ‘Selection Danielle’ – vinified stainless-steel, not the current (2016) vintage but proof indeed that Pocapaglia is surely the ‘capital’ of Favorita! Great intensity but still so slender, & not extracted or concentrated. Retains that racy, almost Mosel Riesling esque, salty, pebbly fruit. Very much a wine of the (Pocapaglia/Roero) soils. A real eye-opener to the brilliance of Favorita (in the right soils & hands!). Surely deserves the title ‘Roero Favorita’?!
2018 Roero Arneis – tasted on Wednesday 16th January 2019, 13%, from tank, to be bottled in March’19, vinified without stalks, but wild yeast, a blend of fruit from Mormoré (50%), Bricco delle Passere (45%) & Coste Anforiano (5%). It would seem obvious that their Arneis is more at home on the older, clay rich, marl soils of Bricco delle Passere, that facilitates a slower vegetative cycle & later harvest. Hence, emphatic, squarer, cooler, pithier, citronelle, Chablis esque purity, a sense of substance, white stone, impressive, promising.
2017 Roero Arneis – tasted 2nd March’18, from tank, just prior to bottling (5th March!); 13% abv, also from Mormore & Bricco; 30% destalked; as you might expect from ‘Nebbiolo Bianco’ bunches, compact with darker colour, thick skins, & richer extract (than the pale Favorita). More melon, lemon/lime meringue, rounder, juicier than Favorita, Crunchy, generous, square, richer extract & phenols, reminds me of Fiano di Avellino (in a way!). Still in tank, still raw, needs time in bottle!
2016 Roero Arneis – 13%, vinified stainless-steel, bottled March 2017; the Tibaldi family have their (30 yo) Arneis vineyards largely on the Bricco delle Passere hill. Distinctly darker in colour (young gold vs white Favorita), the nose is richer too, with an acacia, lime flower, ginger character. Fuller, juicier than the pebbly Favorita, it’s still beautifully transparent, with straw-like warmth & a hint of greengage fruit. Needs time in bottle. 9k bts.
2017 Roero Arneis Bricco delle Passere – tasted from tank, March ’18, prior to bottling in June ’18! 13%, whole bunch, no pressed, only free run juice, indigenous yeast fermented. With the adoption by the Roero of the Menzione Geografico Aggiuntive (MGA) zonal/vineyard system in 2016, the Tibaldi’s have been able to rename their formerly ‘Selection Monic’, Bricco delle Passere, from 28 yo vines on red sedimentary sand. No surprise then at the mandarin & lemon/lime aromas, but in piu, it’s broader, more complexity, finer, emphatic, white stone texture/weave, rich, taut, profondo, with salty roots!
…retasted 9th July’18 from bottle, post May 15th bottling (c. 90mg total SO2): single vyd Bricco delle Passere, facing NW, whole bunch, wild yeast, 13.4%, precise, cool, nettly, lime, glacial, knife-edge fine, a purity & energy that recalls Favorita…taut, needs time to recover from bottling
2016 Roero Arneis ‘Selection Monic’ – 13%, vinified stainless steel, more of everything, cryoextracted for richer, almost Traminer texture, warmth/character, a complex wine with a notable structure. Needs time.
2017 Barbera d’Alba – tasted on Wednesday 16th January 2019, 13.9%, bottled Sept’18, TA 5.6, from Santa Vittoria’s white marne Coste Anforiano 7 yo vines, where the Tibaldis look for some over ripeness stemming from a later harvest; a deep plum red, the nose is pure ‘Fabbri’ spirity cherries/griottines, along with some violet notes; as ever very genteel, civil, chalky flesh, cleansing, well-brought up, very tidy & resolved.
2016 Barbera d’Alba – tasted March ’18 from bottle, 14% abv, no oak, from the warmer Bricco delle Passere vyd at 280m asl, plus some young Costa Anforiano fruit (?), hence white marne sant’agata freshness; vinified only in stainless-steel, bottled in Oct 2017, deep garnet, notes of graphite, of black cherry stone, broad, fleshy, hint of late harvest, gentle mulberry/cherry, soft & seamless, exciting, it appears to glide…
2017 Langhe Nebbiolo – as tasted on Wednesday 16th January 2019, their first Langhe Nebbiolo! 13.8%, harvested from 16 Sept’17, 50mg total sulphur, 35 mg free, extended lees ageing (to reduce the need for sulphur), bottled Sept’18, TA5.10, from 30 yo vines planted on the old marne soils of Bricco delle Passere (favoured by Arneis), a very pretty, transparent, blush red rose; the tranquil, wild yeast, nose pings with stellar clear, fragolini/wild strawb, amarena red cherries; the palate still quite tight, yet joyful with crunchy, sapid, red/rose…
2016 Nebbiolo d’Alba – tasted March ’18, bottled Nov’17, DIAM2, 14%abv, no oak, from 300m asl on the Bricco delle Passere vyd, from 16 yo vines, SW facing; melograno red, it delights & lifts the spirits with its fragolina fruit, poi some kirsch cherries, beautiful freshness, cherry stone grounded, would be delicious with seafish, so exciting, perfect pitch…
2015 Nebbiolo d’Alba – 13.5%, both from the Bricco delle Passere & Costa Anforiano vyds, vinified in s/steel, 30% of which aged in used barrique in 2015 (ditched in 2016 in favour of s/steel only); fascinating nose dried curry plant notes, mixed with warm strawberry & cassis, engaging, generous, easy drinking, benchmark plus.
2016 Roero DOCG – tasted 9th July’18, post 25th June bottling, 14.3%abv, from their single Coste Anforiano vyd in the village of Santa Vittoria, aged for the first time in their cantina & in two new Garbellotto 10HL botti grandi; precise, transparent, focus, cool white stone (gesso/chalk?) rose, melograno (pomegranate) & wild strawberry/cassis crunch, rosehip intensity, also of darker 2016 blueberry-esque fruit, lots of detail beautifully woven together, exciting, energetico, delicate, it flows, racy Roero…so pretty, so exciting, a new dawn! Needs time to bounce back from bottling.
2015 Roero DOCG – tasted March ’18, 3k bts, aged in botti grande this vintage, from 3 yo young vines planted in the fine Coste Anforiano vyd in the comune of Santa Vittoria, very close to the Tanaro river valley, on peroxide white Marne Sant’Agata calcareous soils, chalky even; the heat of July/August 2015 is reflected in the super strawberry & (oak) spicy fruit, white musky & perhaps a whiff of earth. Decadent, drinking.
2014 Roero DOCG – 14%, bottled in July ’17, from the young MGA vyd Coste Anforiano on talc white marne sant’agata soils in the commune of Santa Vittoria, close to the river Tanaro & to Verduno across the valley. In the inaugural 2014 vintage the girls aged their Roero in used barriques (now being replaced with botti grandi of 10HL & 25HL). Red/orange garnet, the nose is both profondo, fresh, hints of warm straw-berry, of curry, tea leaves & dried rose petal; the use of small French oak a minor blip in an otherwise beautifully turned out, finely sculptured wine. The softness, orange peel, rose freshness & suave, soft tannin, white stone red cassis fruit & bright, slender, feminine character rich with nuance recalls the Nebbioli/Baroli of Verduno across the way. A very exciting debut. Only 2k bts