I thought the three wines I chose all showed the promising side of the grape and place. They were excellent bottles made by producers working simply, without artifice.
I’ve had the Cirelli several times and have always enjoyed it. Francesco and Michela Cirelli manage an organic farm that produces olive oil, vegetables, fruit and meats in addition to wine.
The wine was inky purple, with the sweet-bitter flavor that I find in many Italian reds. I loved the life and breezy freshness I sensed in the wine, and the bright, juicy, floral, mineral flavors. This bottle, a 2019, was the youngest of the three. It was lightly tannic at first, but really opened up in the glass with exposure to air.
De Fermo is also a diverse estate, managed by a married couple, Stefano Papetti Ceroni and Eloisa de Fermo, who farm biodynamically.
The wine, which I had not tried before, was also juicy and fresh, with earthy, mineral flavors. Unlike the Cirelli, which was fermented in stainless steel (partly accounting for the brightness of its fruit), the De Fermo, a 2018, was fermented in concrete. It seemed both more substantial and more subdued, stonier and less exuberant. I liked it very much, too.
Tiberio has become one of my favorite producers. While I’ve primarily had its whites and rosés, the montepulciano is superb as well. Cristiana and Antonio Tiberio, sister and brother, are exacting in their farming and simple and scientific in their approach.
The wine, a 2017, benefited from its extra years of aging, with tannins that had mellowed. Yet it was fresh, bright and lively, with lingering flavors of flowers, minerals and sweet-bitter fruit. Like the Cirelli, it had been fermented and aged in steel tanks, perhaps accounting for that sense of immediacy.