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.
Robert Renzoni 2019 Montepulciano (Temecula Valley)South CoastBaked black plum, toasted wood and fennel-pollen aromas decorate the nose on ...See Full Review$40
Europa Village 2018 Vienza Montepulciano (Temecula Valley)South CoastLovely strawberry aromas are dusted in cinnamon bark and sandalwood on the ...See Full Review$42
Cataldi Madonna 2017 Tonì (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyThe nose provokes immediate intrigue, juxtaposing mint chocolate chip and cherries with ...See Full Review$68
Catabbo Cantine 2021 Petriera Rosso Montepulciano (Terre degli Osci)Southern ItalyThe nose on this wine produced by a family in Molise focusing ...Best BuySee Full Review$18
Fantini 2014 OPI Riserva (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Colline Teramane)Central ItalyA rich nose of dark chocolate, cocoa and coffee moves into spearmint, ...See Full Review$30
Tenuta Oderisio 2019 Montepulciano d'AbruzzoCentral ItalyMilk chocolate, black cherries and blackberries come first on the nose of ...See Full Review$24
ILauri 2018 Pinciaie Riserva (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyThis Montepulciano d'Abruzzo has a nose reminiscent of a soft-serve chocolate and ...See Full Review$21
Marchesi De'Cordano 2021 Altavilla Collection (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyBright fruit lights up the nose of this Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, from strawberry ...Best BuySee Full Review$12
ILauri 2020 Bajo (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyChocolate, cherries and plums on the nose take an earthy turn to ...Best BuySee Full Review$14
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
Podere Castorani 2017 Casauria Riserva (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyChocolate and vanilla and cherries on the nose bring out the memory ...See Full Review$35
Cataldi Madonna 2020 Malandrino (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyFun and slightly funky notes of mushroom, moss, soil and strawberry-fruit leather ...See Full Review$20
Marchesi De'Cordano 2018 Trinta Riserva (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyVanilla, baking spices, sour cherries and wild herbs are warmed over the ...See Full Review$40
Caldora 2020 Yume (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyOn the nose, this red gives vanilla, wild strawberries and oregano, while ...See Full Review$23
Marchesi De'Cordano 2020 Aida (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyChocolate and leather are the most prominent on the nose of this ...See Full Review$29
Cantina Tollo 2017 Mo Riserva (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyA quiet, outdoorsy nose of earth, blood and stone eventually wanders inside ...See Full Review$23
Barba 2018 Vignafranca (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyThe compellingly savory nose on this red brings black olives, bitter chocolate, ...See Full Review$18
Marchesi De'Cordano 2019 Aida (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyVanilla and baking spices are first on the nose of this deep ...See Full Review$29
Marchesi De'Cordano 2020 Aura (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyThe chocolate and plums on the nose of this Montepulciano d'Abruzzo meet ...See Full Review$29
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