Emidio Pepe, Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, 2012

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The funny thing about Italian wine is that in a way it’s wonderfully predictable, clearly expressive, filled with straightforward intention (salt, bitter, sweet…). Unless it’s a biodynamic wine. So tasting Emidio Pepe’s definition of Trebbiano (the grape that’s often overripe in the glass or distilled to make cognac) caught me off guard. Referencing common styles in the nearby regions like Lazio, Tuscany or Calabria will not calibrate your senses for the mouthwateringly delicate experience you’re about to have. Unlike many wines in central and southern Italy, Pepe’s preference is clearly to make a subtle, complex masterwork of color, flavor and texture…in fact it really seemed as if I was drinking an oil painting by Caravaggio:

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What I was tasting is not easily deciphered as one certain color or flavor, but rather their complete integration, to the point that each sip is like tasting another layer. They’re so harmonious I couldn’t actually pull them apart- they need each other in order to express their full potential.

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