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!
Orfila 2016 MontepulcianoSouth CoastDried berries, black plum, savory soy and a hint of iodine show ...See Full Review$45
Orsi Family 2014 Montepulciano (Dry Creek Valley)SonomaRich, juicy and rustic in style, this wine delights with good acidity ...See Full Review$36
Amador Cellars 2016 Oleta Vineyards Montepulciano (Amador County)Sierra FoothillsIn California, this Italian grape variety makes flavorful, dark-colored wines that taste ...See Full Review$36
Europa Village 2016 Vienza Montepulciano (Temecula Valley)South CoastCandied cherry and strawberry meet with tarragon and bay leaf on the ...See Full Review$35
De Fermo 2017 Le Cince Superiore (Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyHigh-toned aromas of wild strawberry, crushed cherry and powdered stone dazzle on ...See Full Review$30
Cantina Zaccagnini 2018 Dal Tralcetto Dry Rosé (Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyA wild strawberry and herb aroma carries a slight balsamic edge on ...Editors’ ChoiceSee Full Review$18
Cataldi Madonna 2018 Cerasuolo d'AbruzzoCentral ItalyThis shows a concentrated hue of watermelon pink in the glass. Bright ...See Full Review$21
Cantina Tollo 2018 Hedòs (Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyA delicate nose of cherry and stone starts off this Cerasuolo. The ...See Full Review$25
Fantini 2018 Cerasuolo d'AbruzzoCentral ItalyBright aromas of candied watermelon and pink grapefruit grace the nose of ...Best BuySee Full Review$13
Feudo Antico 2018 Organic (Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo)Central ItalySalmon pink in color, this Cerasuolo offers aromas of cherry, pink grapefruit ...Best BuySee Full Review$10
Cantinarte 2017 Gaia (Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyMade from organically grown Montepulciano, this rosato offers a plush strawberry aroma, ...See Full Review$25
Masciarelli 2018 Villa Gemma (Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyA pretty shade of ruby pink in the glass, this starts off ...See Full Review$20
Tenuta Cerulli Spinozzi 2018 Cerasuolo d'AbruzzoCentral ItalyA pretty shade of watermelon pink in the glass, this Cerasuolo offers ...See Full Review$19
Estate d'Iacobelli 2016 Montepulciano (California)California OtherConcentrated aromas of boysenberry and black plum show darkly on the nose ...See Full Review$44
Feudo Antico 2018 Cerasuolo d'AbruzzoCentral ItalyThis cherry blossom pink wine has delicate aromas of watermelon, crushed stone ...Best BuySee Full Review$10
Cantina Tollo 2018 Biologico (Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyBoisterous aromas of cherry blossoms, melon and strawberry give a great start ...Best BuySee Full Review$10
Fattoria Giuseppe Savini 2018 Rondineto (Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyThis rustic Cerasuolo carries a balsamic strawberry nose, leading to soft, pleasing ...See Full Review$12
Bosco Nestore 2017 Eclipse (Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyRipe aromas of strawberry and cherry lead the nose, with these soft ...See Full Review$13
Di Sipio 2016 Cerasuolo d'AbruzzoCentral ItalyBurnt orange in color, this Cerasuolo offers a cooked cherry aroma, with ...See Full Review$18
Podere Castorani 2018 Cadetto (Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyGentle coral pink in the glass, this is a delicate Cerasuolo that ...See Full Review$18
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