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While some Italian reds feel light and dry, Montepulciano appeals to the New World palette being a touch richer - dark coloured with juicy and sometimes jammy plum-fruit. As a late ripener it grows right across Italy’s warm mid-section - it is Italy’s second most planted red - with its most famous examples from Abruzzo on the Adriatic coast (Montepulciano d’Abruzzo). Though perhaps Italy’s answer to the similarly appealing internationalised variety Merlot, Montepulciano’s few New World producers are still working on market recognition. Montepulciano may be genetically related to the Tuscan grape Sangiovese but confusingly it has no direct relation to the namesake town of Montepulciano - around which, being Tuscany, only the local Sangiovese and no Montepulciano is grown.