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.
94 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous (Jun 2010)