Based on 87 reviews on Cellartracker.com
Reviews 94 points Wine Advocate "Tar, leather, scorched earth and black fruit emerge from this dark, imposing Montepulciano. The wine comes together beautifully in the glass, as the aromas and flavors gain breadth and dimension. Despite the rich style, there is nothing excessive or over-ripe here, just exceptional balance of ripe fruit as captured by a traditional approach to vinification. A final blast of tar informs the long finish. (AG)" 92 points John Gilman "The smoky nose is outstanding, offering up scents of black cherries, cigar ash, wild fennel, dark soil tones, cherry pit, a bit of tariness, woodsmoke and the typical botanicals of this wine. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and very elegant (particularly for a 2003!), with a fine core of fruit, moderate tannins, really good acids for the vintage and a long, balanced and stylish finish. (LG)"
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About Emidio Pepe
Primarily focusing on the region's native varietals - Montepulciano, Trebbiano d'Abruzzo, and Pecorino, Pepe's production techniques celebrate tradition and commitment to quality. This includes the organic cultivation of genetically diverse old vines, the hand-harvesting and foot-treading of grapes, and the initiation of natural fermentations. A unique approach in the industry is Pepe's practice of holding back half of his production for further maturation, thus exemplifying his visionary dedication.
Two versions of Montepulciano d'Abruzzo are produced annually, one from young vines and another from older vines, named "Selezione Vecchie Vigne" after a minimum aging period of five years. This select label guarantees authenticity and provenance, presenting a rich, bold palate with dark fruits, licorice, and fresh herbs, distinguishing itself from other Montepulciano wines in the region.
Pepe's vineyards lie within the idyllic Teramo province, where the maritime influences of the Adriatic sea and cool air currents from the Gran Sasso mountain converge to create a microclimate optimal for slow, progressive grape ripening and ideal sugar-acidity balance. The clay-limestone soil, offering several meters of root depth, imparts a specific minerality that adds complexity and longevity to the wines. Emidio's 55 years of expertise harmonize these elements, guiding the vines' growth without chemical intervention or commercial yeast, aiming to faithfully express the terroir's uniqueness through the distinct personality of Montepulciano and Trebbiano d’Abruzzo. This, in essence, epitomizes Emidio Pepe's pursuit of the extraordinary in every bottle.