Montepulciano

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Montepulciano, name of a vigorous red grape variety planted on much of central Italy, and the name of a Tuscan town at the centre of the zone producing the highly ranked red wine vino nobile di montepulciano (which is not made from this grape variety).

On a 2010 total of 34,824 ha/86,052 acres of vineyard, the grape variety is recommended for 20 of Italy’s 95 provinces but is most widely planted in abruzzo, where it is responsible for the often excellent-value Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, and in the marche, where it is a principal ingredient in such reds as Rosso Conero and Rosso Piceno. It is also grown in molise and puglia. At its best, it produces wines that are deep in colour with ripe, robust tannins. Both the colour and the tannins make it a favoured blending ingredient with producers looking to boost their more feeble efforts. Unfortunately, high yields, often abetted by official advice in the 1970s and 1980s that producers should train their vines high, and a tendency to reduction in the wines, have ensured that general quality is not as high as it should be. docg for Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Colline Teramane, for Montepulciano grown in the hills in the area around Teramo in the northern part of Abruzzo, came into effect with the 2003 vintage, perhaps an attempt to promote future, rather than to recognize current, quality.