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. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2031.
92 points, Wine Advocate and Vinous (February 2008)
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.
92 points, Vinous (October 2006)
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.
91 points, Vinous (June 2015)
Concentrated, mid ruby with narrow orange rim. This wine shows kinship with the 2005 with regard to perfect concentration and incredible depth, but this is even more focused and multi-layered and still youthful. Dark and red fruit with a suggestion of smoke that evolves into spice the longer the wine sits in the glass. Lifted acidity that melts away into the fruit. Succulent fresh cherry and lots of coating tannins that never take the upper hand. Long, cool and elegant.
18 points, JancisRobinson.com (May 2019)
Blackberry and charred beef, smooth and liquorice on the palate. Doesn't seem to be blossoming quite as you might expect – such a slow burner, this one! Firm tannins, almost Nebbiolo-esque. Tightly wound.
17.5 points, JancisRobinson.com (August 2021)
Dark and tightly wound, with iron, wild herb and cocoa notes backed by full tannins wrapping the firm dark cherry and plum skin notes, ending with dark tar, graphite and bitter almond. Hide this in the cellar for a few years. Non-blind Emidio Pepe vertical (May 2013). Best from 2016 through 2030.
95 points, Nathan Wesley, Wine Spectator
Emidio Pepe shows excellent results with the 2001 vintage of his landmark Montepulciano d'Abruzzo. Made according to rigorous organic principles, the wine shows dark fruit and blackberry with bold leather and tobacco at the back. The tannins are polished and tight but the wine still shows more years of aging potential ahead.
90 points, Wine Enthusiast (July 2013)