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’
2019 Langhe Favorita – as tasted by DBG & CR on Tuesday 14th January 2020 13%, tasted from tank, 10k to be bottled Feb’20, a blend of fruit from three vineyards: most (65%) comes from the sandy and fossil rich soils of Mormoré, then 25% Bricco delle Passere, and 10% Coste Anforiano. More potent in vintage 2019, due to the later (23rd)September harvest & notable diurnal temperature differences, their Langhe Favorita remains pale in colour & uplifting with those refreshing, vertical aromas of bianco spina & verbena, along with notes of tiglio (limeflower), pebbles, & (yellow) grapefruit pith, lemon sherbert. TA 6.
2019 Roero Arneis – as tasted by DBG & CR on Tuesday 14th January 2020 13.3%, tasted from tank, 8k to be bottled in Feb20, a blend of fruit from Mormoré (60%), Bricco delle Passere (35%) & Coste Anforiano (5%). So different as ever from the Favorita, but perhaps the use of wild yeast for both varieties has helped widen the gap. Darker in colour, more orange/aranciato & intense than the pale Favorita, the nose is similarly impressive & layered with orange blossom/peel fruit notes, a definite fullness of body with distinct tannic/thick skinned, mandarin zest texture & structure coming through. More horizontal, & more present than the vertical Favorita, their Arneis seems to thrive on the marne sant’agata fossili & clay rich soils of Bricco delle Passere, above the cantina. Harvested earlier than Favorita to maintain freshness.
2018 Roero Arneis ‘Bricco delle Passere’ – as tasted by DBG & CR on Tuesday 14th January 2020 13.4%, 4.5k bottled Auguest’19, whole bunch, not pressed, only free run juice, indigenous yeast fermented. From vintage 2017, Tibaldi were able to use the Roero Menzione Geografica Aggiuntiva (MGA) vineyard name of ‘Bricco delle Passere’, that perches literally above their cantina on a mix of red clay & white marne sant’agata fossili. At 29 years old, the vines are no age, but they face NW, so preserving great acidity in a warm year like 2018, where the first half of September still radiated heat. Unfazed, their 2018 Bricco delle Passere is more complete, more profound than the ‘classic’ Roero Arneis, benefiting from a year on the (fine) lees pre-bottling. It shows a lovely spearmint, white currant & verbena expression, the free-run juice enables the softest of mouthfeels, with meringue & lemongrass more evident on the palate, alongside almond and bay leaf. Less obvious fruit, more sapid & savoury, there’s a refreshing ortica/nettle crunch to the fruit too. Sublime!
2019 Barbera d’Alba – as tasted by DBG & CR on Tuesday 14th January 2020 14.5%, to be bottled in May’20, from Santa Vittoria’s white marne Coste Anforiano 7 yo vines, where the Tibaldis look for some over ripeness and thus opt for a later harvest (October, at same time as their Nebbiolo). Vinified in steel only, with 10/12 days maceration (including 2 days extended maceration post fermentation). To taste: still in tank & cloudy, so difficult to read, but there’s a richness of expression that comes with the more potent 2019 harvest. Hedgerow fruit, black currant and black pepper spice, liquorice even, with fresh notes of graphite balancing up the rich fruit punch!
2018 Langhe Nebbiolo – as tasted by DBG & CR on Tuesday 14th January 2020 14.5%, c. 6k bottled in Sept’19, Nebbiolo fruit from 30 yo vines planted on the old marne soils of Bricco delle Passere, on the southern aspect, facing Santa Vittoria, where there’s a higher percentage of sand, circa 30%. Vinified in steel only, with 13/14 days maceration. In keeping with the 2018 vintage, & with slightly higher acidities than in 2017 (TA 5.40 vs 5.10), one first notices the glimmering Ribena red colour. The nose is open, charming, seductive with almost Pinot esque raspberry/strawberry ‘sciroppo’ fruit intensity. And the palate follows with succulent, fleshy, relaxed, so pretty, so easy to love, it’s still coiled, & sufficiently detailed. Very more-ish indeed! Approx. 50/60mg/l total sulphur.
2017 Roero DOCG – 14.5% abv, 3k bts, bottled in Oct’18, having spent 12 mths in two x second use 10HL Garbellotto botti (+ one 500L tonneau), with malo having taken place in steel. From the single Coste Anforiano vyd in the village of Santa Vittoria that looks at the Langhe & the Barolo zone across the Tanaro river on the other bank. Macerated for 12 days in stainless-steel, with pumping over, followed by malolactic in steel. A very pretty, sunny red, the nose pings with rose, white stone, wild strawberries and mint, a slight creaminess too. The palate’s charming, generous with ‘gelato’ summer fruit & spice and finely woven, silky tannins. Plenty of freshness (esp. given the warm of the vintage). Needs time in bottle.
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.