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!
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
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
Buccicatino 2019 Montepulciano d'AbruzzoCentral ItalyThis rich, supple red shows anise, clove and black cherry coulis aromas ...See Full Review$25
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
Valle Martello 2020 Montepulciano d'AbruzzoCentral ItalyThis rich red shows a thick covering of cola, sarsaparilla and toasted ...Best BuySee Full Review$14
Ciavolich 2020 Fosso Cancelli (Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyThis earthy Cerasuolo shows aromas of wild thyme and wet stone mixed ...See Full Review$50
Lorimar 2018 Montepulciano (Temecula Valley)South CoastRich and extracted aromas of blackberry sauce, black-plum skin, loamy soil and ...See Full Review$64
Barone Cornacchia 2021 Casanova Superiore (Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyThis rich black-cherry-hued Cerasuolo presents more like a light-bodied red. Its dense ...See Full Review$17
Contesa 2021 Cerasuolo d'AbruzzoCentral ItalyThis vibrant cherry-colored rosato shows nicely intense aromas of crushed black cherries ...Best BuySee Full Review$15
Il Feuduccio Di S. Maria D'Orni 2021 Feuduccio (Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo)Central ItalySavory aromas of crushed rock and thyme lead this taut, structured Cerasuolo. ...See Full Review$20
Cantina Tollo 2018 Colle Secco Riserva (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyHeady aromas of frankincense and tar ride atop dense black cherry and ...See Full Review$18
La Valentina 2018 Spelt Riserva (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)Central ItalyThis supple, plush red offers cherry and blackberry jam aromas and flavors ...See Full Review$23
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