2001 Emidio Pepe Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

Great old vintages of Emidio Pepe Montepulcianos are still available and relatively easy to find, a rarity with most Italian wines. 

This 2001 is still youthfully dark red (you can immediately tell why some famous Italian winemakers like to blend Montepulciano into Sangiovese wines), with rich aromas of flavors of ripe red cherry, botanical herbs, tar and shoe polish. The finish is long and lively; unfortunately, the tannins turn a bit dry at the back, but were less noticeable when drinking this along a rich stew or grilled ribeye. 91/Drinking window: 2015-2025

--Ian D'Agata