Montepulciano is a red grape variety planted widely throughout central Italy. It is most prominent in Abruzzo, where it produces Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. The grape is also known as Cordisco, Morellone and Uva Abruzzese.
The best Montepulciano wines are deep-colored and have ripe and powerful tannins. These characteristics make it an ideal blending component alongside less hardy grape varieties. As a single varietal, quality Montepulciano wines have pungent aromas reminiscent of game meats, spice, pepper and earth.
The most famous Montepulciano wine comes from the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC). The wines have a deep, rich color, strong aromatics and a full-bodied, robust structure. The region had a reputation for excessively high yields, which inevitably lead the historic production of some lesser quality wines. Today, there are many quality producers in the region, and the best wines exhibit the grape’s naturally high acidity, tannin and alcohol.
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wines can represent excellent value for the money and are widely exported. Some producers add Sangiovese to the blend, though according to DOC regulations, the blend must contain at least 85% Montepulciano.
The highest quality Montepulciano wines from Abruzzo tend to come from vineyards around the Teramo hills in the north. Since 2003, there has been a separate Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) designation for these wines: They can be labelled as Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Colline Teramane DOCG. The blend for these higher quality wines must contain a minimum of 90% Montepulciano grapes, with up to 10% of the blend permitted to contain Sangiovese.
North of Abruzzo is the small region of Marche. Here, Montepulciano is the key grape variety in the red wines of Rosso Conero DOCG. The Montepulciano grape is sometimes blended with small amounts of Sangiovese in Rosso Piceno wines.
Montepulciano can also be found in the Italian regions of Puglia, Molise, Maremma and Umbria. Outside of Italy, small quantities of Montepulciano are grown in Australia, The United States and New Zealand.
Montepulciano is also the name of a town in Tuscany, where a high-quality red wine called Vino Nobile de Montepulciano is produced. This wine is not made from the Montepulciano grape, however, so the two should not be confused. Vino Nobile de Montepulciano is based primarily on the Sangiovese grape variety, though can be blended with other grapes, including Canaiolo, Merlot and Syrah.
Peruse a variety of Montepulciano wines, tested and rated by our expert wine tasters at Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Search the database below to learn more about this robust varietal!
Cantina Tollo 2016 Cagiòlo Riserva (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyThis rich Montepulciano boasts a deep well of aromas on the nose, ...Editors’ ChoiceSee Full Review$35
Torre dei Beati 2017 Mazzamurello (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyThis rich red delivers dense aromas of brandy-soaked berries, tobacco, cocoa powder ...Cellar SelectionSee Full Review$44
Illuminati 2015 Pieluni Riserva (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Colline Teramane)Central ItalyMade from grapes harvested in late October (some of the last in ...Cellar SelectionSee Full Review$65
Torre Zambra 2015 Brune Rosse Riserva (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)Central ItalySourced from a single vineyard near Villamagna, this riserva shows depth and ...See Full Review$65
Ciavolich 2017 Divus (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyA heady mix of cherry jam, blackberry, peppery herbs, petrichor and mentholated ...Editors’ ChoiceSee Full Review$20
Amorotti 2017 Montepulciano d'AbruzzoCentral ItalyThere's impeccable richness on the nose, showing ripe red cherry, plum and ...See Full Review$44
Torre dei Beati 2017 Cocciapazza (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyThis rich Montepulciano offers dense aromas of brandy-soaked black cherry and blackberry, ...See Full Review$40
Barone Cornacchia 2016 Vizzarro Riserva (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Colline Teramane)Central ItalyThis full-bodied red boasts juicy dark cherry and blackberry flavors, with integrated ...See Full Review$44
Agriverde 2015 Plateo Riserva (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyThis riserva offers a heady mix of brandy-soaked blackberries, clove and tar ...See Full ReviewN/A
Valle Martello 2016 VillamagnaCentral ItalyThis rich red starts off with dense aromas of dark cherries macerated ...See Full Review$30
Cantina Rapino 2015 Gira (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyIntense aromas of dried cherries, game, hoisin sauce and herbs carry to ...See Full Review$30
Nicodemi 2015 Neromoro Riserva (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Colline Teramane)Central ItalyA heady mix of fresh basil and thyme blends seamlessly with the ...See Full Review$40
Vini Casalbordino 2016 Villa Adami (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyWell-concentrated aromas of raspberry and blackberry blend with a heady dose of ...See Full Review$36
Podere Castorani 2016 Amorino (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyBright aromas of red plum and cherry are voluminous and rich on ...See Full Review$25
Valle Martello 2015 Prima Terra (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyThis rich, warming red delivers intense aromas of roasted blackberry, clove and ...See Full Review$27
Vini Casalbordino 2017 Sinello Riserva (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyThis cohesive red offers a bright red cherry core accented by integrated ...See Full Review$23
Illuminati 2019 Lumeggio di Rosso (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyPure aromas of freshly picked red cherries and blackberries meet gentle tones ...See Full Review$18
Cantina Rapino 2019 Montepulciano d'AbruzzoCentral ItalyRich aromas of baked cherry, fresh blackberry, tobacco, lavender and chopped mint ...See Full Review$19
Barone di Valforte 2015 Riserva (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyThis riserva starts off with earthy aromas of tobacco, mulch and wet ...See Full Review$30
Idi di Marzo 2018 Montepulciano d'AbruzzoCentral ItalyPlush aromas of ripe blackberry and red plum are dotted with integrated ...See Full Review$34
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