Italian wine: A Glimpse into Molise with Tombacco Biferno Rosso Riserva
- WTI Magazine #161 Mar 18, 2023
Molise is the second smallest region in Italy behind the Valle d’Aosta region in northern Italy. It used to be part of the Abruzzo region, known as Abruzzi e Molise, until 1963. Overshadowed by the prominence of its neighboring wine regions, Molise is small in terms of annual wine production. There are 4 DOCs in Molise, but they only account for about 4% of the overall production. These DOCs include Bifernno, Tintilia del Molise, Molise, and Pentro d’Isernia.
A large amount of Molise’s terrain is mountainous stemming from the southern Appennines. Inland, the climate is more continental with cold winters and warm summers with snow abound in the mountain ranges. Along the coastline of the Adriatic the climate is more Mediterranean and mild.
The Winery – Cantina Tombacco
The Tombacco winery originally began as a farm built by Giovanni Battista Tombacco whom wanted to produce peaches. In 1919 he transformed the winery and the old vines so that he could get into winemaking. Giovanni’s sons, Bruno and Adriano, joined him and the youngest grandson, Giuliano, expanded the winery to include a larger cellar and warehouse. Today the winery is led by Giuliano with his son, Cristian.
Cantina Tombacco has their own estates in the Veneto region in northern Italy and also partner with other agricultural companies that share the same values and show the same care and passion for growing quality grapes as the Tombacco winery does. Per their site, 40% of the production is sold in bottles totaling around 10 million bottles and the other 60% is sold in barrels. The wines are 100% certified organic as well as vegan certified, meaning that their filtering and clarifying is using vegetable and mineral derivatives.
The area – Biferno DOC
The Biferno DOC appellation is named after the local Biferno River, which flows from the northeast to the Adriatic Sea. This area encompasses inland from the capital, Campobasso, towards the Adriatic Sea. As you’ll see in the blend in a little bit, the wines require to be made from 70-80% Montepulciano and 15-20% Aglianico with up to 15% of non-aromatic red grapes. The Riserva wines must age at a minimum of 3 years with 13% alcohol.
The 2018 Cantina Tombacco Biferno Rosso Riserva DOC is made from 80% Montepulciano and 20% Aglianico. The wine is aged in stainless and 500-liter tonneau for 36+ months. The color was a dense, intense ruby with aromas of cherry, vanilla and spice. On the palate the wine is full-bodied and smooth with good acidity and subtle tannins. Notes of blackberry and cherry with some spice and oak present on the finish. ABV 14% SRP About $15