colored wines, with moderate acidity and noticeable extract
and alcohol levels, low tannins --smooth, drinkable wines
that can improve for three or four years after vintage.
with a meat-based ragù, Eggplant Alla Parmigiana
Pepe Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
The grape is widely planted throughout central and southern
Italy, most notably in Abruzzi, Latium, Marche, Molise, Umbria
and Apulia, and is a permitted variety in DOC wines produced
in 20 of Italy's 95 provinces. Montepulciano is rarely found
in northern Italy because the grape has a tendency to ripen
late and can be excessively "green" if harvested too early.
ripened, Montepulciano can produce deeply colored wines, with
moderate acidity and noticeable extract and alcohol levels.
Origins and confusion with other Montepulciano wines
to wine expert Jancis Robinson, Montepulciano likely originated
in Tuscany and may be related to Sangiovese of which the two
grapes are often confused for each other. Despite this possible
origin, the Montepulciano grape still doesn't seem to have
any tangible connection to the Montepulciano village and the
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano beyond, what Robinsons describes
Furthermore, despite being widely planted throughout central
Italy, the Montepulciano grape is not even grown in the vineyards
around the village of Montepulciano.
It is a recommend
planting in 20 of Italy's 95 provinces and is a permitted or
required grape in the red wines of DOCs in Apulia, Molise, Latium,
Umbria, Marche, Emilia-Romagna, Abruzzi and Tuscany. Among the
DOCs that are most noted for Montepulciano are Montepulciano
d'Abruzzo in Abruzzi, Rosso Conero and Rosso Piceno in Marche.
Though it is a secondary variety to Uva di Troia in the Castel
Del Monte DOC, wine expert Jancis Robinson the character that
Montepulciano contributes to the blend as perhaps "its finest
spread of the Montepulciano grape throughout Italy.
Sangiovese, Montepulciano is Italy's second most widely
dispersed indigenous grape variety.
ripens late and has a tendency to favor producing large yields.
The grapes can be plump with a low skin to juice ratio. However,
the skin has a fair amount of pigmented tannins and color
producing phenols that with maceration can produce either
a deep ruby colored wine or a pink Cerasuolo wine.
Compared to most Italian varieties, Montepulciano has moderately
low acidity and more mild (i.e. softer) than bitter edged
tannins. Wine expert Oz Clarke describes
Montepulciano as producing a "round, plummy and weighty
red with ripe tannins, good acidity and a low price tag."
Jancis Robinson evaluates Montepulciano as a "promising
variety" that produces smooth, drinkable wines that can
improve for three or four years after vintage.
Science of Wine Aroma
the Acids in Wine
(Tannins) in Wine
The Basic Wine Pairing Rules
Science of Food and Wine
a Wine Sommelier
J. Robinson Jancis Robinson's Guide to Wine Grapes
p. 112 Oxford University Press 1996
J. Robinson Vines, Grapes & Wines p. 212
Mitchell Beazley 1986
Loren Sonkin "Montepulciano d'Abruzzo" Accessed: December 30th, 2010
Robinson (ed) "The Oxford Companion to Wine"
Third Edition p. 450 Oxford University Press 2006
Anthony Giglio "Montepulciano: the real deal" La Cucina Italiana Magazine.
Accessed: December 31st, 2010
Saunders Wine Label Language pp. 119-215 Firefly
Clarke Encyclopedia of Grapes p. 139 Harcourt
Vitis International Variety Catalogue "Montepulciano entry" Accessed: December 28th, 2010