When it comes to Abruzzo region, we automatically think of the rich red Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and the intense Cerasuolo, the rosé made from the same grape (Montepulciano, indeed), as well as the white Trebbiano d’Abruzzo. These are the wines which have built a clear regional identity specifically associated with production territories often located north and central Abruzzo, such as the one that has long been the only one DOCG in Abruzzo: Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Colline Teramane DOCG.
However, the general picture is evolving, today more than ever, both in Italy and abroad. The spectrum widens in search of unique productions outlined around the local territories along with their indigenous varieties and production traditions which seems increasingly appropriate to re-propose reinterpreting them through the knowledge of the current experiences.
In Abruzzo, this translates – for example – in a better focus on white varieties with remarkable potentials such as Pecorino or Passerina and not only as just an extra option for wineries but also in terms of legislation if we think of the recent birth of the DOCG Tullum (in force since July 2019) and located in Chieti area, south of Abruzzo. Although small, being among the smallest in Italy, the denomination is able to represent a potential and carry on a transformation that involves a growth of territory and mentality.
Among the main characters of the territory, there is the winery Cantina Tollo, a cooperative founded in 1960 which today works on a total of about 3,000 hectares (7500 acres). The transformation came in the ’70s when wine bottled was added to the production of bulk wine and the focus on quality rose significantly. Today Cantina Tollo is the holding of a group with various subjects including Feudo Antico, 100% owned by Cantina Tollo, with a focus on the Tullum / Terre Tollesi appellation.
Here are some of the best wines signed “Feudo Antico”.
- PECORINO BIOLOGICO TULLUM DOC 2018 (white, organic)
Made from Pecorino grapes. Spontaneous fermentation with maceration and fermentation in concrete vessels, maturation in concrete and stainless-steel tanks. No filtration, no stabilization.
Deep colour and personality. It smells of herbs, lavender and golden apple but is intensity and precision that strike beyond the complexity of the scents. The texture is beautiful, the balance between the typical acidity offered by Pecorino grape and the concentration is excellent. Quite long.
- ROSATO BIOLOGICO TERRE DI CHIETI IGT 2018 (rosè, organic)
Montepulciano grape 100%, short cold maceration, gentle crushing, fermentation and maturation in oak and acacia wooden vessels. Unfiltered.
Very intense and welcoming nose with flavours of black cherries and, in general, ripe red fruits. Medium structured and juicy on the palate with a bitter liquorice finish that revives it. Balanced and with a further margin of ageing.
- “In Anfora” TULLUM ROSSO DOP 2017 (red)
A recent creation made from 100% Montepulciano grapes inspired by ancient methods: vinification in amphora with manual punching down, 11 months on the skins.
Deep in colour. The nose is fine with notes of ink, wild berries, cinnamon and cocoa. Dense, concentrated with ripe tannins, excellent overall balance with the acidity that makes it absolutely drinkable today despite an ageing potential that should not be underestimated.
- ROSSO RISERVA TULLUM DOP 2015
Produced selecting old clone of Montepulciano grapes, vinified in stainless steel tanks and matured in concrete vessels and new French oak barrique.
On the nose: sandalwood, toasted nuances, dried violet and preserved cherry. On the palate it is smooth with aromas of sweet spices and firm but ripe tannins. A more international style with rather marked wood notes but still clean and coherent.