Jump to the reviews

We have access to some incredibly rare mature whites and reds. Stored at the winery, each year a selection of back vintages is checked, decanted bottle by bottle re-corked and sent around the world!

We have offered wines back to 1983, with access back to the 70’s! Call us on 1300 811 066 if you are interested in the older stocks.

These wines are incredibly drinkable in their youth , with great potential to age.

Emidio rates his 2010 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo as one of the Top 50 years he has made during his 50 year tenure.

Emidio’s 2001 is stunning now! Check out the Video I shot with Chiara talking about this wine.

His whites made from Trebbiano and Pecorino are superb. Textural masterpieces with great harmony, incredible length and depth.

About Emidio Pepe

“Bucking every trend and modern convention, the wines of Emidio Pepe represent one of the most singular expressions in winemaking today.” –Antonio Galloni

Emidio Pepe is a singular producer creating amazingly complex age worthy reds and whites in a region of mass produced, overly engineered versions of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. Though the family has been producing wines here since the end of the 19th Century, the winemaking has remained unchanged philosophically since Emidio Pepe took over the estate in 1964. Since 1997, the business and wine production has been in the hands of the fourth generation of the Pepe family with sisters, Daniela and Sofia. And, more recently, the dynamic Chiara De Iulis Pepe has joined the estate as the fifth generation!

An Interview with Three Generations of the Pepe Family

Emidio: Founder, winemaker, grandfather
Sofia: Winemaker, daughter
Chiara: Business director, granddaughter

Emidio Pepe has a very long and rich history. What inspired you to first begin bottling your grandfather’s successful bulk company?

Emidio: The world of agriculture was a fight, especially when you give such value to the proper artisanal farming. At that time you had to create a market, and that’s what I did. My grandfather and father were making some wine for the family, and I learned the techniques from them. I strongly believedin the great potential of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and in myself, and I knew it could compete with the world’s greatest wines. I started working at the age of 14, with both my grandfather and father and working for other peoples’ land. By the age of 30, I decided to focus on the only thing I really knew how to do: make wine. I essentially started from scratch and with incredible enthusiasm began what would become my greatest challenge: producing the best Montepulciano and Trebbiano that nature could give me.

What is the basic philosophy of the Emidio Pepe wines?

Chiara: Grandfather is a true perfectionist, and he always knew that making the wine in a natural and artisanal way was the only way to respect nature’s perfection. He wanted to make refined and world-class wines and that always entailed his complete dedication and his strong determination.

Your vineyards occupy a very special location, perfectly nestled between the Adriactic sea and the Apennin mountains. What are the main influences that this exceptional geographic position imparts on your wines?

Emidio: The influence of the sea mitigates the climate and brings great minerality. The Gran Sasso guarantees us good temperatures between night and day, but also protect us from storms coming from west. This combination creates a microclimate that allows the vines and the grapes to have gradual development and ripening with unique characteristics. It always snows in wintertime, and with the excursions between night and they can reach 15°C. Summers are very warm but we get constant sea breezes from the Adriatic sea, bringing sapidity to our wine.

Tell us about your “foot crush” and the harvest season.

Chiara: Harvest season is a really great time! Grandfather always refused the use of machines, so we still do everything entirely by hand. We all go and pick the grapes early in the morning, then start the foot crushing in the late morning: four or five people stomp on the grapes in
a big wooden tank with a rack at its bottom. As we stomp, the grapes gently break, and the juice flows into a basket outside of the crushing tank. This process allows a constant stimulation of skin with the juice, releasing flavors we otherwise would have lost. For the red grapes, after the picking, it’s time for destemming: we pass the grapes on a grill by hand. That’s key to making elegant Montepulciano, not letting the stem break and collecting only the elegant tannins of the skin.

This collection comes from your family’s cellar with perfect provenance and storage, and the wines are hand decanted. Can you tell us about your philosophy behind hand decanting each bottle prior to shipment?

Sofia: Decantation is done to remove the sediments that occur with time but also to check every single bottle. It’s a process we have been doing since the beginning. Since the wines are never filtered, and Emidio believes that filtration takes the life and power away from the
wine, this was a way of letting the wine be free to decide what it didn’t need anymore, spontaneously. The wine ages in bottles and produces sediment with the elements it doesn’t need anymore. Right before we sell the bottles, we take every single one and pour it into a new one, leaving the deposit in the old one and topping off the new bottle with a second bottle of the same vintage. The cork has the year of the decantation while the label has the year of the harvest. We use two bottles and two corks for each bottle that we sell at the end. It is a process that leaves the wine energetic and with its integrity.

Viticulture & Vinification

The Trebbiano is foot trodden in wooden tubs in order to avoid the contact between the iron presses and the acids of the fruit. The resulting white wines are slightly golden hued, well balanced and complex, with hints of nuts, hay, and yellow fruits.

The Montepulciano bares little relation to most other wines of this appellation. These wines are big and bold, filled with intense flavors of dried black cherries, licorice and wild herbs.

The winemaking regime at Pepe follows an uber-natural and artisinal path as well. Grapes are grown biodynamically, hand-harvested, hand-destemmed, naturally fermented and aged 18-24 months in glass-lined tanks. The wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered, without added SO2, and aged in their cellar, in bottle, for continued development. Before release, the wines are decanted by hand into new bottles, and then labeled. An extensive stock of older vintages is kept at the cellar.

It’s been 50 years since Emidio Pepe, one of Italy’s best wine estates, has been bottling its own wines (the estate was actually founded in 1899), and a new generation of talented and passionate youngsters here is ready to take on increasingly more responsibility. The wines are minimally handled: grapes biodynamically farmed; only native yeasts are used; there’s no temperature control in the cellar; and cement, not toasty new oak, is the principal winemaking medium. The wines need plenty of aeration to free them of strongly reductive aromas, so decanting a few hours ahead is an absolute necessity. Ian D’Agata, Vinous

Where in the World is Emidio Pepe

The Pepe vineyards are located in the northern province of Teramo, with siliceous soil rich in lime and iron.

*Stocks due to arrive end of April.

This offer has expired, wines are subject to availability. We'll do our best to satisfy your tastebuds.

Emidio Pepe Montepulciano d'Abruzzo

  • WHITES
  • Price: $ 150.00 Quantity:
  • Price: $ 150.00 Quantity:
  • REDS
  • Price: $ 240.00 Quantity:
  • Price: $ 280.00 Quantity:
  • Price: $ 290.00 Quantity:
  • Price: $ 305.00 Quantity:
  • Price: $ 320.00 Quantity:
  • Price: $ 370.00 Quantity:
  • Price: $ 305.00 Quantity:
  • Price: $ 425.00 Quantity:
  • Price: $ 500.00 Quantity:
  • Discounts will be applied when you order is processed.
    $ 0.00
  • *If you do not receive a confirmation email after submitting your allocation request please contact us immediately on 1300 811 066 or [email protected]
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

About the Wines

Trebbiano d'Abruzzo 2014

The Trebbiano, as the Montepulciano, is an ancient grape varietal from our area. It is an elegant and refined wine with great aging potential. Its beautiful acidity together with the aromatic balance make of it a fine wine with complexity at the same time. The proximity to the Gran Sasso mountain guarantee us big differences of temperature between night and day, this encourages the development of the flavors, while the proximity to the Adriatic Sea, whit its sea breezes gives us an important mineral tone and a beautiful sapidity to our Trebbiano. Emidio Pepe

The 2013, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2007, 2004 & 1995 Vintages are avaialble. Please contact us if you are interested in these.

Pecorino d'Abruzzo 2015

The Pecorino” in an autochthonous grape varietal coming from south of Marche region and north of Abruzzo. For the Pepe’s, the Pecorino has been a new challenge, to face with a new grape varietal and to elevate it to the test of the long aging, as they do with the Trebbiano and the Montepulciano. The vineyard of one hectare and half was planted in 2007, the Pecorino 2010 was our first vintage released: vinified at the same exact way of the Trebbiano, crushed by feet and spontaneous fermentation in concrete. In intention is to keep it for some time in the cellar to test the aging potential. A wine that expresses itself in a complete different way than the Trebbiano, the Pecorino seems to be immediate and flavorful with an important structure and a strong acidity. Emidio Pepe

The 2014, 2013, & 2012 vintages are available. Please contact us if you are interested in these.

92 Points

Bright, dark golden yellow. Aromatic herbs, peach, and ripe yellow apple have a noteworthy saline twist on the enticing, deep nose. Then saline in the mouth, with very good freshness providing the broad, rich, ripe flavors of oily spices and mint with noteworthy clarity and cut. Finishes with strong savory lift, outstanding length and a really chewy quality, the latter a very typical characteristic of all Emidio Pepe white wines. This is the best ever Pecorino, by far, from this estate. Drink 2017-2025

Ian D'Agata, Vinous

Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2010

Emidio Pepe describes it as “the wine of the future” for its unequaled aging capacity and for its strong personality, far from fashions. Our Montepulciano d’Abruzzo comes from old vines , most of them still cultivated in a marquee / pergola.

95 Points

Bright ruby. Precise, spicy aromas of ripe red berries, dark plum and violet accented by cumin and caraway seed. At once densely packed and broad but juicy and refined too, boasting terrific acid-fruit-tannin balance and penetrating red cherry, underbrush and sweet spice flavors. This lovely wine is suave and fine-grained and finishes very long. It would be prudent to decant this at least two-three hours ahead; one bottle I had was initially marred by almost unacceptable levels of funkiness, another was instead brilliantly pure and clean, so allowing this wine to breathe a little prior to serving is not a bad idea. Drink 2020-2040+

Ian D'Agata, Vinous

95 Points

The 2010 Montepulciano from Emidio Pepe has absolutely brilliant potential, and it is very easy to see why both Emidio and his daughter Sofia are so excited about the quality of this vintage. The bouquet is deep, pure and youthfully promising, offering up scents of black cherries, tar, balsam boughs, a fine base of dark soil, incipient notes of botanicals and a bit of chicory in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and nascently complex, with a fine core, firm, ripe tannins, tangy acids and a very long, focused and beautifully balanced finish that closes with excellent grip and bounce. This is still very early days for this wine, but it will prove to be an utter classic.

John Gilman, View from the Cellar

Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2008

Haunting

Pepe’s 2008 Montepulciano is a haunting wine. It’s classic Pepe: animal, deeply complex and possessing a perfume that can fill a room. The range is mindboggling – scorched earth, leather, sun-baked grass, herbs and flowers. What’s most striking is that all of this is delivered with brilliant clarity.

It’s easy to say that this or that wine is artisanal, that it’s hand-crafted, but we’re on a completely different level with the wines of Emidio Pepe. These must be 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.

Joe Salamone, Crush

Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2007

96 Points

Nearly impenetrable inky ruby color. Deep, brooding aromas of black cherry, violet, tar, shoe polish and botanical herbs. Sweet/sour flavors of black cherry, blueberry juicy, minerals and ink are complicated by a dusting of botanical herbs. This multilayered knockout of a wine finishes very bright and long, with repeating floral lift. Very clean and precise, and devoid of any funky animal aromas or flavors, it’s one of the best red wines from Pepe in years and a testament to the potential greatness of the Montepulciano grape. Drink 2015-2040

Ian D'Agata, Vinous

Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2003

94 Points

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. Drink 2013-2018

Antonio Galloni, Vinous

Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2001

The bottle Chiara poured in the video was epic and far exceeds the scoring provided in the reviews below.

92 Points

1st Tasting: Pepe’s awesome 2001 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is a great introduction to this producer’s wines. Richly colored, it offers an aromatic nose and layers of vibrant, sweet dark fruit that open in the glass, revealing a wine of outstanding purity that is full of life and energy. At once delicate and structured, it is one of the highlights of the afternoon. It should also be another long-lived wine from this estate and I imagine that its aging potential is decades.

2nd Tasting: This bottle (#31310) of Emidio Pepe's 2001 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo is incredibly dark in color. It is a rich, concentrated wine bursting with black cherries, smoke, tar and underbrush. This is normally a more restrained wine, but this particular bottle was especially rich and dense. Pepe's Montepulciano's are legendary for their ability to age beautifully and I have no doubt that will be the case here as well. Drink 2013 – 2031

Antonio Galloni, Vinous

91 Points

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. Drink 2015-2025

Ian D'Agata, Vinous

94+ Points

The 2001 vintage is one of the recent favorites of Signor Pepe, and he is convinced that this will be a classic in the fullness of time. The bouquet is still quite primary in its blend of dark berries, black cherries, Cuban cigars, a bit of cherry pits, dark soil, botanicals and a nice touch of nutskin in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and quite a powerful young vintage of the Pepe Montepulciano, with a rock solid core of fruit, lovely, nascent complexity, chewy tannins and excellent length and grip on the focused and still quite youthful finish. Today, the fine 2003 accessible, but with sufficient bottle age, the 2001 is going to be a reference point vintage of this great wine. 2020-2050+.

John Gilman, View from the Cellar

Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2000

90 Points

The 2000 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, from a much warmer vintage, is a big, powerful wine packed with dark fruit, earth and game notes. It doesn't have the level of finesse and balance of the 2001 and its less lively color along with its evolving flavors suggest it will reach maturity sooner, although for this producer that is measured in relative terms.

Antonio Galloni, Vinous

Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 1997

From Antonio Galloni, Vinous:

The Montepulciano is fermented for about 10-12 days and subsequently aged for 24 months in glass-lined cement, which Pepe prefers over oak. “I think glass is the best medium for aging wines. It is no coincidence that extended bottle-aging is what allows wines to develop their fullest complexity,” adds Emidio Pepe. Both wines are fermented without the aid of selected yeasts or temperature control. The wines are bottled with no SO2 and laid down to rest for several years in the cellar which holds extensive stocks of virtually all past vintages.

As they age in bottle the wines undergo malolactic fermentation naturally. Before being released the bottles are opened and decanted one by one into new bottles after which they are re-corked, labeled and shipped. There is no fining, filtration or SO2 added during the second bottling. Pepe’s fanaticism extends to storage and when I saw him in New York recently he complained that temperature controlled rooms common in the city’s top wine shops were too cold for his wines which he views as living creatures.

Like Sangiovese and Nebbiolo, Montepulciano benefits from the kind of extended growing season that balanced weather provides. Specifically with regards to Pepe’s wines, the fresher vintages give wines of rich color, aromatic complexity, vibrant fruit and notable structure that allow the wines to age effortlessly for decades. In warmer vintages the wines often show less liveliness in color, riper fruit and a rustic, gamey character which I find less appealing. Around age ten or so the aging curve seems to flatten and the wines begin to approach maturity. In general I find Pepe’s wines from the cooler vintages to offer more balance as well as elegance although the warmer vintages have also proven to age well, if slightly less gracefully. 

Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 1983

89 Points

The fully mature 1983 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, a faded red, presents the wilder side of Montepulciano with an earthy, gamey profile and notes of licorice, leather and evolved, stewed fruits that develop in the glass. Its somewhat lean, angular personality and tart character are less than fully convincing in their overall balance and further cellaring is unlikely to improve things much.

Antonio Galloni, Vinous