“Montepulciano is a red wine grape variety grown widely in central Italy, most notably its eastern Abruzzo, Marche and Molise regions. The variety was named after the Tuscan parish of Montepulciano, but, confusingly, is not used in the famous wines produced there.
Globally appreciated for their soft flavors, strong color and gentle tannins, Montepulciano wines are typically best consumed in their youth and with food. The deep purple juice of Montepulciano grapes is used in varying proportions to produce wines under roughly 50 of Italy’s DOC and DOCG titles. Although sometimes used on its own, it also responds well to blending with other varieties, most successfully Sangiovese – its close relative and Italy’s most widely planted grape variety (for more information on these blends, please see Montepulciano – Sangiovese).
At the turn of the new century, Montepulciano was Italy’s second most planted red wine variety, just behind Sangiovese and marginally ahead of Barbera. Its popularity is to both the approachable style of the wines it produces, and because the variety gives reliably high yields.
While some grapes (Chardonnay, Muscat and the various Pinot varieties spring to mind) are extremely versatile, and can be used to produce wines of various styles (still, sparkling, dry, sweet), Montepulciano has so far developed a reputation only for its dry red table wines.
Small quantities of Montepulciano are grown in New Zealand, Australia and the U.S. Some of these wines show real promise but are still widely regarded as being in the experimental stage.” – Wine Searcher