This Italian grape produces some truly special wines. Want to know about it? We’ve got you covered.
What Is Montepulciano?
Montepulciano is a red grape variety planted widely throughout central Italy, and is the second most widely planted grape in Italy. Montepulciano is most prominent in the Abruzzo region, where it produces Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, but it can also be found in the Molise and Marche regions of Italy, as well as in Puglia in the south. It is also known as Cordisco, Morellone and Uva Abruzzese.
Outside of Italy, Montepulciano can be found in Australia, the United States and New Zealand.
What Does Montepulciano Wine Taste Like?
The best Montepulciano wines are deeply-pigmented with 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, tar, oregano, cherries and pepper.
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 showcase 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.
How Do You Pronounce “Montepulciano”?
According to Google Translate, the pronunciation is “mon·te·pul·cià·no.” Need to hear it spoken? Click here.
Is Montepulciano the Same as Vino di Nobile Montepulciano?
No, it is not. The two are often conflated with one another, but in addition to it being an Italian red variety, it is also the name of a town in Tuscany, where a high-quality red wine called Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is produced. This wine, however, is made from Sangiovese, but hails from the town of the same name. Vino Nobile di Montepulciano can also be blended with other grapes, including Canaiolo, Merlot and Syrah.
What Pairs Well With Montepulciano Wines?
A high-acid, high-tannin grape, Montepulciano deserves foods that can stand up to its sassiness. Since it comes from Central Italy, the foods from that region would pair well. Think: tomato-based pasta, pizzas and cheese, or savory, hearty, meaty dishes like lamb or steak. The acid and tannin have enough chutzpah to cut through the rich sauces and bold flavors. Smoked meats, meatier-textured seafood like salmon and tuna, as well as pork are also perfect pairings to Montepulciano.
Where Can I Buy Montepulciano Wines?
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.
Barba 2021 Vasari (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)Central ItalySoil, olives and wild mint show on the restrained nose of this ...Best BuySee Full Review$11
Azienda Agricola Marcocelli Giuseppe 2019 Conte Ripoli (Colline Teramane)Central ItalyA restrained nose that dances delicately from tar and soil to sour ...See Full Review$21
Barba 2021 Collemorino (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyThe nose of this Montepulciano d'Abruzzo is thick with soil, mushroom and ...Best BuySee Full Review$13
Vino dei Fratelli 2020 Montepulciano d'AbruzzoCentral ItalyOn the nose, chocolate, black cherries and grilled meat with herbs give ...Best BuySee Full Review$12
Cinta 2021 Montepulciano d'AbruzzoCentral ItalyFigs, cola and some herbaceous notes combined with chalky milk chocolate on ...Best BuySee Full Review$11
Cantina Valle Tritana 2020 Montepulciano d'AbruzzoCentral ItalyAfter a bit of leather polish and soil, the nose of this ...Best BuySee Full Review$10
Mr. Riggs 2018 Montepulciano (Adelaide)South AustraliaThere's a cool edge to this Montepulciano, like brambly blackberry bushes after ...See Full Review$28
Colab and Bloom 2020 Montepulciano (Fleurieu)Southern AustraliaThis Montepulciano is a bit reductive to start, the barnyard notes distracting ...See Full Review$20
Binomio 2018 Riserva (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyFresh dill and thyme lend a heady dose of herb to the ...See Full Review$52
Barone Cornacchia 2017 Vizzarro Riserva (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Colline Teramane)Central ItalyDefined aromas of brandy-soaked mixed berries, fresh thyme, cigar wrapper, blood orange ...See Full Review$38
La Valentina 2017 Bellovedere Terre dei Vestini Riserva (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyThis riserva shows dense aromas and flavors of brandy-soaked black cherries, clove, ...See Full Review$60
Torre Zambra 2020 Colle Maggio Organic (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyHeady aromas of clove, cinnamon and peppercorn ride high above the brandy-soaked ...See Full Review$20
Contesa 2020 Montepulciano d'AbruzzoCentral ItalyThis spicy red displays aromas of Sichuan peppercorn, blood orange peel and ...See Full Review$18
Buccicatino 2019 Montepulciano d'AbruzzoCentral ItalyThis rich, supple red shows anise, clove and black cherry coulis aromas ...See Full Review$25
San Rucci 2020 Siletto Vineyard Montepulciano (San Benito County)Central CoastRich and oaky aromas of vanilla and blackberry jam are presented in ...See Full Review$48
Illuminati 2017 Zanna Colline Teramane Riserva (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyThis poised, polished red shows rich aromas of red cherry dipped in ...See Full Review$38
Torre Zambra 2019 Montepulciano (Villamagna)Central ItalyThis bold, bruiser of red shows lifted aromas of cigar wrapper, thyme ...See Full Review$36
Illuminati 2020 Riparosso (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyGraham cracker and cocoa aromas meld with rich black cherry cordial on ...See Full Review$18
Tenuta I Fauri 2021 Baldovino (Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyThis concrete-aged Cerasuolo offers intense aromas of crushed cherries and strawberries mixed ...Best BuySee Full Review$15
Illuminati 2020 Lumeggio di Rosso (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyHerbal aromas of tobacco and thyme ride over plump black cherry and ...See Full Review$18
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