Fratelli Barba is a traditional family estate of mixed farming comprising olives, dairy, wheat and some particularly decent Montepulciano. It’s a sizeable operation of almost 700 ha of which 60 are vineyards planted on the hillier sections above the coastal floodplain. It’s a classic Mediterranean climate and the soil is sandy loam into which the vines sink their roots in the search for water during the long, hot summers. This is the Abruzzo: it’s hot, dusty and time moves according to ancient agricultural rhythms.
Giovanni Barba has invested prudently and the winery is clean, modern and, frankly, utilitarian with lots of stainless steel, very little oak, and none of the fancy gates of marble tasting rooms that increasingly characterise new estates. The winery is where Stefano Chioccioli works his magic and where, for almost 30 years, the family have made honest wines that offer exceptional value. In recent years they’ve picked up solid scores from the critics and also from Vivino, where it made it into their Top Ten for most reviewed wine. It’s easy to see why: classic notes of dark cherry and spice combine with just the right amount of structure to make this the ultimate all-rounder.
Montepulciano D'Abruzzo DOC 2021