Unconventional, yet traditional. Bold, yet refined. Complex, yet approachable. Vibrant, yet focused. All of this describes Emidio Pepe’s wines, and, probably, the winemaker himself. Montepulciano’s iconic leader of organic and natural winemaking has earned cult status not only in Italy, but across the world with Monica Larner of The Wine Advocate describing Emidio Pepe as one of the cornerstone producers of the Abruzzo, a winery that follows strict tradition but that also appeals to every new generation of wine drinker that encounters a bottle. The wines of Emidio Pepe are in a word, timeless”and Ian D’Agata of Vinous concluding that it is simply “one of Italy’s best wine estates.”

Today’s offer is a stunning range of Emidio Pepe’s releases, including several vintages of the estate’s flagship Montepulciano d’Abruzzo as well as their high scoring whites: Trebbiano and Pecorino.

The estate’s Montepulciano, as Monica Larner once noted is “a wine that confirms the hype that surrounds Emidio Pepe.” Dark and intense, bursting with aromas of black fruit, leather and spices it possesses well polished tannins and an incredibly long finish. The majority of Montepulcianos on today’s offer are old vines releases, with the exception of the 2015 vintage which comes from younger vines (roughly 20-25 years old), while still showing plenty of character and, according to Ian D’Agata, displaying “fragrant aromas and flavors of blood orange, dark plum, balsamic, soil, underbrush and flint. The finish is savory and saline, boasting good juiciness and lift while featuring an aromatic note of potpourri.”

Pepe’s Trebbiano, also sourced from the old vines, is all elegance and sophistication. 2016, the vintage on offer, has been described by The Wine Spectator as “Beautifully aromatic, with a nose of honey, ripe fruit and spice, this graceful white offers a range of baked nectarine, lemon thyme, honeycomb and jasmine flavors, set on a finely knit, medium-bodied frame. Mouthwatering acidity and a chalky edge lend definition to the plush texture of the lasting finish.”

As for Pecorino, it comes from the estate’s younger vines planted in 2006, yet it is deep and flavourful, offering aromas of ripe fruit while possessing an excellent freshness. Ian d’Agata particularly admires the 2013 vintage for its “straightforward nose of peach, custard cream and botanical herbs, complicated by a diesel fuel nuance. Rich and dense, offering luscious stone fruit and sweet spice flavors. Finishes long and fresh, displaying repeating hints of peach and vanilla. Strikes me as one of the best Pecorino wines ever made by Pepe.”

Produced in very limited amounts and kept at the estate until they are ready to be drunk and enjoyed, these are some of the Italy’s most sought-after wines which have proven to age exceptionally well. All of the bottles being offered today have impeccable provenance, coming from two highly trusted sources, a UK and a US based importer, who have both been working directly with the Emidio Pepe estate.

ColourWineVintageStatusQTYFormatSell Price*Score
WhiteEmidio Pepe IGT Pecorino Pecorino2012DPD16x75cl £1,14091 (WS) 
WhiteEmidio Pepe IGT Pecorino Pecorino2013DPD26x75cl £96090+ (VN)
WhiteEmidio Pepe IGT Pecorino Pecorino2014DPD26x75cl £715 
RedEmidio Pepe Montepulciano D’Abruzzo Montepulciano1974DPD36x75cl £3,36094 (WS)
RedEmidio Pepe Montepulciano D’Abruzzo Montepulciano1980DPD26x75cl £1,800 
RedEmidio Pepe Montepulciano D’Abruzzo Montepulciano1983DPD66x75cl £1,63089 (WA)
RedEmidio Pepe Montepulciano D’Abruzzo Montepulciano1983US412x75cl £3,26089 (WA)
RedEmidio Pepe Montepulciano D’Abruzzo Montepulciano1984DPD36x75cl £2,370 
RedEmidio Pepe Montepulciano D’Abruzzo Montepulciano1984US112x75cl £4,740 
RedEmidio Pepe Montepulciano D’Abruzzo Montepulciano1997US112x75cl £2,520 
RedEmidio Pepe Montepulciano D’Abruzzo Montepulciano2000DPD26x75cl £1,07097 (WS) 
RedEmidio Pepe Montepulciano D’Abruzzo Montepulciano2000US112x75cl £2,13597 (WS)  
RedEmidio Pepe Montepulciano D’Abruzzo Montepulciano2002DPD16x75cl £930 
RedEmidio Pepe Montepulciano D’Abruzzo Montepulciano2002US112x75cl £1,860 
RedEmidio Pepe Montepulciano D’Abruzzo Montepulciano2003US112x75cl £2,22094 (WA)
RedEmidio Pepe Montepulciano D’Abruzzo Montepulciano2009DPD16x75cl £1,080 
RedEmidio Pepe Montepulciano D’Abruzzo Montepulciano2010DPD36x75cl £76595+ (VN)
RedEmidio Pepe Montepulciano D’Abruzzo Montepulciano2010US312x75cl £1,52595+ (VN) 
RedEmidio Pepe Montepulciano D’Abruzzo Montepulciano2012US312x75cl £96094 (WE) 
RedEmidio Pepe Montepulciano D’Abruzzo Montepulciano2013DPD46x75cl £595 
RedEmidio Pepe Montepulciano D’Abruzzo Montepulciano2015IB306x75cl £51592 (VN)
WhiteEmidio Pepe Trebbiano D’Abruzzo Trebbiano2016DPD126x75cl £39092 (VN) 
WhiteEmidio Pepe Trebbiano D’Abruzzo Trebbiano2016US312x75cl £78092 (VN) 

*Please note, that the prices for UK based stock are Duty Paid (DPD), unless stated otherwise, whereas the prices for US based stock are quoted In Bond.

Starting from the 1960s Emidio Pepe has been shaking and shocking the world of wine. Taking charge of the estate founded by his father who used to sell grapes in bulk, Emidio decided to produce his own wine driven by the idea to make one of the world’s greatest reds. With that goal in mind he reverted to the traditional winemaking techniques pioneering biodynamic viticulture in Montepulciano and choosing to do all the work manually, from harvesting and de-stemming to labelling the bottles. The grapes are being crushed by foot with the whole Pepe family taking part in the stomping process. It goes without saying that only indigenous yeasts are used for fermentation and no sulphur is added to the wine. Oak is completely avoided, the wine is aged only in bottles and gently decanted into the new bottles prior to sale, thus removing any unwanted sediment. Methods that one might think of as controversial have proven themselves successful when combined with the talent and the meticulous work of the whole Pepe family, whose wines, as noted by Antonio Galloni “are loaded with personality and character.” Emidio, now 88, is still active and present at the vineyards, though daily operations are brilliantly run by his daughters, Sofia and Daniela, and granddaughter Chiara. The family vineyards now amount to 15 hectares, perfectly nestled between the Adriatic coast and the Apennine mountains.