Emidio Pepe founded his winery in 1964, after working alongside his father and his grandfather which already back in 1889 were making wine at Casa Pepe. Before anyone else, he strongly believed in the great ageing potential of Trebbiano and Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and he dedicated all his energies to those two indigenous grape varietals, proving their incredible potential and showing it to the entire world.
Pepe’s 2003 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is a bomb. Tar, leather, scorched earth and black fruit emerge from this dark, imposing Montepulciano. The wine comes together beautifully in the glass, as the aromas and flavors gain breadth and dimension. Despite the rich style, there is nothing excessive or over-ripe here, just exceptional balance of ripe fruit as captured by a traditional approach to vinification. A final blast of tar informs the long finish. Pepe fans will flip over the 2003, but readers who prefer subtlety over power will want to cellar this for a few years to allow for some of the baby fat to melt away. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2028. Emidio Pepe is one of Abruzzo’s reference-point producers. These traditionally made wines can show some rough edges when they are young, but they rarely disappoint when given an opportunity to mature in the cellar. [94 points, Antonio Gallioni – June 2010, vinous.com]