Wine & Ratings

Montepulciano

About Montepulciano

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.

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