"Bucking every trend and modern convention"
- 2016 Pepe Montepulciano d'Abruzzo

Posted by Joe Salamone

An encounter with the wines of Emidio Pepe always leaves a deep impression.

In short, they are nothing short of magical.

Antonio Galloni sums up Pepe really well when he writes, "Bucking every trend and modern convention, the wines of Emidio Pepe represent one of the most singular expressions in winemaking today."

Pepe's Montepulcianos can be wild, animal, woven with dark rich earth, leather, sunbaked grasses, herbs, and flowers. Yet, for all this depth and complexity, the wines are clear, with jewel-like red fruit .These wines have a perfume that can fill a room.

Along with Valentini, Pepe's work with Montepulciano is nothing short of magical. Pepe turns Montepulciano, a cheap mainstay of red sauce joints, into something that commands a place on the world stage.

Pepe's are some of the most coddled bottles on the planet. The grapes are hand-picked, hand-destemmed, and then crushed by foot. After a carefully watched fermentation and élevage, each and every bottle is filled by hand.

Before getting to Pepe's absolutely gorgeous 2016, we need to pause for a moment to make a distinction between Pepe's two different bottlings of Montepulciano. There's a younger vine bottling that gets released earlier and an older vine bottling that's released later.

The 2016 is the younger vine bottling. While we don't buy the younger vine bottling every vintage, by all accounts the 2016 is stunning and a don't miss (just as an example see Ian D'Agata's note below). You can expect a dazzling array of floral, mineral, savory and dark fruits along with a haunting combination of power and lift.

I encourage you to check out Levi Dalton's I'll Drink to That interview with Chiara De Iulis Pepe. It's a fascinating overview of the estate.

These are among the most fascinating bottles around. It's always exciting to offer Pepe's wines. Few wines are as heartfelt and mysteriously complex.

To order, email offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone

Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits