Tiberi is a little family winery in central Umbria. For many years they'd just grown grapes and sold them off to huge companies, because that's what the wine industry tells people they have to do if they don't have the scale to afford modern wine making equipment and technology. So the Tiberi family was selling their grapes and even though they have old vines on a great southwest facing hill top they couldn't make ends meet. They started to think about selling their farm, but then heard of this crazy guy: Danilo Marcucci.
Danilo was impressed by them and their vineyard so he agreed to help teach them how to make wine with no modern technology. It's much more work fermenting wild and not using sulfur, but on their small scale it works and allows them to make a value added product so that they can make ends meet and keep the farm. Yay natural wine making!
Danilo and I went on a crazy 25 mile run to Tiberi and then drank wine in their driveway.
Musticco is Italian for Mosquito; that was Federico's wife's name when she was young. This is a blend of Gamay de Trasimeno (which is genetically Grenache) and Ciliegiolo. The wine is bottled during it's initial fermentation when the yeast is still eating the natural sugar. Because the fermentation finishes in the bottle the CO2 dissolves back into the wine and makes it fizzy. It's how sparkling wine was made way long ago before Champagne became Champagne. This is a living wine with yeast in it, no sulfur, and no additives.
Aroma: Cherries, cranberries, beeswax, cooked rhubarb, maybe some mint, some black pepper; it's a really interesting smell that has aromas of tart red berried right superficially, but it also has aromas of spices and food. It legitimately smells like the holidays to me.
Taste: The fruit flavors are ripe! It's a fuller bodied rose, but totally dry. The effervesence is great: just enough to perk up your pallet and give the wine some fizz, but not full on and it takes a back seat to the fruit. The Musticco also has a bit of salty minerality on the mid palate. It's savory and really lingers; this is such a cool wine. I really think this would be killer with turkey, or a ham, or bacon, or some kind of salted pork roast! Now I'm making myself hungry. This is so good!
And this just came way down in price due to closer connections between us all and volume (thanks Matt Mollo!). This is about $20 retail.