Localization: Umbria, Italy
Tasting Notes: This is a gem of pure Sagrantino, harvested exclusively from the younger vines in the “Crus” of Pagliaro and Cerrete. A product of a 35-day maceration, it carries a deep ruby robe and a dense, juicy mouthfeel. The round and smooth tannins make for a gentle, playful (but substantial) wine.
The Domain: Paolo Bea is a leading wine estate in Montefalco, Umbria, which started bottling wine in 1980, though the Bea family's recorded history in the area dates back to the 1500s. The estate is best known in most markets for its Sagrantino di Montefalco. However, it also produces a range of labels, including red and white Umbria IGT, the skin-contact Arboreus white wine, and a Montefalco Rosso.
The 15-hectare (37-acre) estate is overseen by Paolo Bea's sons Giampiero, who looks after the winery, and Giuseppe, who farms the estate. Only five hectares (12 acres) are given over to vineyard, with the remainder producing olives, fruit, vegetables, and wheat.
Paolo Bea is a founder of the non-interventionist Vini Veri organization, which stipulates that wines are made in a non-interventionist manner and that grapes are farmed organically, and vineyard biodiversity is encouraged. Despite being permitted by organic viticulture certification bodies, Bea refuses to use copper sulfate in the vineyards.