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The New Emidio Pepe

Brand New Montepulciano

I think we may have found Emidio Pepe’s successor. For those of you who are unfamiliar, octegenarian Emido Pepe is known as 'Mr Montepulciano' and is something of a legend in Abruzzo. He has been making his wines in exactly the same way - organic, minimal intervention, no oak, since 1963 and his wines are like gold dust. They can age for 2 or 3 decades and sell up to £100 for wines that are few years old. We took a trip to Abruzzo earlier this year in search of a wine that came close to the Emidio Pepe and, by jiminy, I think we found it. The top wine might be as good as if not better, but it doesn't really matter, it's so good. A wine we instantly recognised as being in the Emidio Pepe mould - having all the concentration and charm of the Montepulciano grape with none of the heaviness or trowelled-on oak. The hint of maturity made it all the more seductive. This is a wine that Paolo de Strasser has taken his time over, and for which he has not allowed commercial considerations to dictate what it should be. It's a beauty, and we had to have it.

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