The high-yielding Montepulciano variety is a famous and often misconstrued grape. Understandably, many confuse it with Vino Nobile di Montepulciano – a Tuscan wine region, whose wines, perplexingly enough, are made from the Sangiovese variety.
The Montepulciano grape is at its best in the Abruzzo (due east of Rome), and the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wine region was designated legally in 1968. Wines produced here tend to be medium-bodied, easy-drinking – and many offer excellent value for money.
While many of Italy’s famed red grapes (such as Sangiovese or Nebbiolo) are noted for high acidity, Montepulciano gives a soft and juicy wine.
As a result, they tend to be more accessible young – though a more ‘serious’ form of Montepulciano comes in the form of a ‘Riserva.’ These wines must be aged a minimum of two years before release – and with at least 6 months of this period spent in barrel.