Vintage: 2003
Bottle sizes: 750 ML
Country: Italy
Region: Abruzzo
Appellation: Montepulciano D'Abruzzo
Wine type: Red
Varietals: Montepulciano
Biodynamic: Practicing
Vineyard: Sourced from vineyards around the winery in Torano Nuovo, Abruzzo - near the border with Marche.
Orientation: Southeast.
Soil: Medium-textured clay.
Viticulture: Hand harvested. Biodynamic.
Vinification: De rasping of Montepulciano is done by end. Vinified with ambient, natural yeast in cement. Ages for two years in cement before bottling. Aged for 19 years in the cellar before release.
Aging: Aged for two years in cement before bottling.
Publication: Wine advocate
Rating: 94
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 uears to allow for some of the baby fat to melt away. anticipated maturity 2013-2028
Publication: Wine Spectator
Rating: 93
Ripe and aromatic, with an undercurrent of cured olive, grilled rosemary, sanguine and dark roasted espresso running through the concentrated black cherry fruit. Well-defined, as juicy acidity keeps the long finish moving. Non-blind Emidio Pepe vertical (May 2013). Drink now through 2025. 2,750 cases made. –NW
Publication: View from the Cellar – John Gilman
Rating: 92
I had the opportunity to taste the 2003 at both tastings in May, with the bottle that received longer aeration on the evening of the first dinner really showing beautifully, but with the second bottle the following day showing a bit more of the roasted ripeness of this torrid vintage (but it did not receive anywhere near the same length of aeration). As Emidio and Sofia Pepe noted, in this vintage they only used grapes from their pergola-trained vineyards for this bottling, where they retained a far thicker leaf canopy than customary to shade the grapes from the scorching sun, and they were available to avoid sun burn for their grapes by this methodology. In their vineyards planted in rows, they had sunburnt grapes and sold them all off to a cooperative. I am assuming that the first bottle I tasted (with ideal aeration time) was representative of the wine, and it is from this showing that I take this note. The smoky nose is outstanding, offering up scents of black cherries, cigar ash, wild fennel, dark soil tones, cherry pit, a bit of tariness, woodsmoke and the typical botanicals of this wine. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and very elegant (particularly for a 2003!), with a fine core of fruit, moderate tannins, really good acids for the vintage and a long, balanced and stylish finish. Really a lovely bottle that is starting to drink with great charm at age eleven. 2014-2035. 92. John Gilman