Emidio Pepe IGT Pecorino 2016
Only 6 left in stock
Emidio Pepe IGT Pecorino 2016 – it doesn’t get much better than this!! Such pride is taken in the wines here, that should the quality of harvest not be up to their high standards they sell the grapes elsewhere and miss a vintage. They have plenty to fall back on, with a stock of each vintage ever produced, going back to the 1960s, in a cellar containing some 300,000 bottles.
The Pepe family estate has been passed on through multiple generations since it was founded in 1899, in Abruzzo, and for much of that time it was dedicated to growing high yields of grapes to sell to a local co-op. It was only in 1964 that Emidio Pepe decided that the quality of their grapes were too good to waste like that, and moved towards producing their own wines. Back then, this was limited to just a single hectare of vines. Today it stands at around 15 hectares. While Pepe’s wines today are produced using painstakingly precise organic and biodynamic techniques, in the 1960s he initially tried to be ahead of the game, buying the latest and most innovative machinery. But he soon realised that this would mean constantly upgrading his machines to meet the demands of a local market known for its cheap, bland and young wines. Instead, he took a leap of faith and developed his own philosophy of winemaking – much to the derision of other winemakers at the time, many of whom, understandably, were awestruck by the rapid modernisation of farming technology. While his wines are today celebrated as perhaps the best in the region, his early vintages found little appreciation, especially in Italy. In fact, it was only after a trip to New York that he found a market – an early stepping stone towards the international reputation he has today.
Emidio Pepe is assisted in his work by two of his daughters, Sofia and Daniela, and granddaughter Chiara. His other daughter, Stefania, runs her own winery. The terroir they work on is in the hills, between the Adriatic Sea and the Apennine Mountains, creating excellent conditions for the Montepulciano and Trebbiano grapes that grow there. The vines are grown along with pergolas, which means that the leaves soak up the hot summer sun, while the grapes hang below in the cooler shade. This technique also allows better airflow around the plants. The soil, mainly of clay and calcareous rock, is maintained using traditional methods, the grapes are picked by hand, and treatments using synthetic chemicals are strictly avoided. Another peculiarity of Pepe is that he uses exclusively cement tanks, rather than oak barrels. He sees this barrel use as a new, untraditional way to mature wine, leading to unnecessary oak tones in the wine. It is unfiltered and unfined, and sulphites are forbidden. When older bottles are decanted into new ones for sale, even this is done by hand alone – even refusing to use a funnel for fear of oxidation.
Emidio Pepe IGT Pecorino 2016 is an Intense straw yellow colour, surprising to the nose for depth and texture: floral and fruity notes chase each other and blend with herbaceous tones into a whole of great charm. On the palate, it is material, fresh and satisfying. It is a lively, long and multi-faceted taste of great tactility and balance. Closes with an unforgettable finish for persistence.
By The Bottle