Grape(s): 70% Sangiovese, 15% "the typical red-berried grape of Abruzzo" (Montepulciano), 15% "the noble native grape of Montefalco" (Sagrentino)
Localization: Umbria, Italy
Tasting Notes: Wonderfully pure, expressive wine loaded with character. Sourced from a mix of younger vines that don’t make the cut in one of the crus, and partly from 40- to 50-year-old vines, the wine is fermented and aged two years in steel, then transferred to large Slavonian casks for two additional years. This wine spent 41 days macerating on its skins with a refined texture not seen in past vintages. Incredibly vibrant on the nose this offers a kitchen cabinet of exotic spices as is the norm, but this vintage has an elevated elegance with a stunning balance.
Notes: This wine is sourced from the San Valentino vineyard in Montefalco the soil of which is dominated by clay. The vineyard is at 1300 feet altitude. The grapes are harvested from a 50-year old vineyard containing the constituent grapes. Harvest usually occurs in the final ten days of October. Bea puts all the dry reds through extensive cuvaison. In this instance, the wine usually macerates for approximately 30 days before being racked and prepared for malolactic fermentation. The wine is aged for 3 years in stainless steel and an additional 4 to 12 months in bottle before release
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 although 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 Giampero, 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 organisation, which stipulates that wines are made in a non-interventionist manner and that grapes are farmed organically and vineyard biodiversity is encouraged. Bea refuses to use copper sulfate in the vineyards, despite it being permitted by organic viticulture certification bodies.