What is Montepulciano wine?
Montepulciano is a rustic black grape grown widely across central Italy. It produces super-popular, food-friendly red wines in early-drinking, mature, and rosé styles.
Learn about Montepulciano
First things first: Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo is not to be confused with Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, the premium wine from Tuscany made from Sangiovese. While Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo is often blended with Sangiovese, the only other point they have in common is the name.
As well as the dry reds Montepuliciano makes, it’s also the main grape in the bright, lighter, fruity, rosé Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo.
Montepulciano grows extensively across central Italy and is one of the country’s most-planted cultivars. Small plantings grow in Argentina, the US, Australia, and New Zealand.
What does Montepulciano wine taste like?
Montepulciano displays distinct aromas and flavors of tart cherry, red plum, Mediterranean herbs, baking spices, and even tar. Wines are medium to full-bodied with medium to high tannins and low to medium acidity. As rosé, Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo has a lighter body.
This grape is a great cultivar for blends and it goes especially well with Sangiovese. It also appears as a varietal wine.
What sort of wine is Montepulciano?
This grape makes light to full-bodied dry, red and rosé wines depending on the style. Most are destined for early drinking but there is also a Riserva style that’s been aged for at least two years.
What does Montepulciano pair well with?
Montepulciano wines appear in light to full-bodied fruity-forward styles. Balanced acidity, tannins, and aromas/ flavors make these wines a match made in heaven with a range of cuisine. Although it typically has low acidity, Montepulciano pairs well with many tomato-based dishes.
Top Montepulciano Appellations/ Areas
Montepulciano appears around 30 appellations. Some top examples include
- Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Colline Teramane DOCG, Terre Tollesi / Tullum DOCG, Colline Teramane Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOCG, and Cònero DOCG.
- Docs include Abruzzo, Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo, Colli Romagna Centrale DOC, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC, and Velletri.
Where Montepulciano comes from?
The Montepulciano variety’s roots in Abruzzo are lost in the mists of time but it acquired its modern-day name in the 1600s. The ancient Greek historian Polybius waxed lyrical about a grape that appeared to have the qualities of Montepulciano but whether or not it was the said variety is just speculation! This grape has another claim to fame on the literary front.
Prominent Abruzzo aristocrat, writer, orator, and military man, Gabriele d’Annunzio referred to its wine in his works. Montepulciano is a late ripening variety which accounts for its relatively low acidity.