Paolo Bea 2015 Sagrantino Montefalco Secco, Pagliaro Vineyard, DOCG
Item Number: 13990
Sub Region: Umbria
Appellation/AVA: Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG
Estate Grown Wine: Yes
Vineyard Designation: Pagliaro Vineyard
Grape(s): 100% Sagrantino
Type: Wine - Red
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Alc by Vol(%): 15
Viticulture: Practicing Organic
Elevation: 1,300 feet
Tasting Notes: Bea produces perhaps his most renowned wine from pure Sagrantino grown on the prized hilltop site of Pagliaro, situated at 1,300 feet above sea level in Montefalco proper. This 2015 is absolutely jaw-dropping in its intensity and presence. Bea’s wines at their best offer a panoply of spices so intoxicating, so far-reaching, and so evocative, as to nearly defy belief. The only wines that approach Bea’s in that regard are perhaps the most un-sculpted Syrah-based wines of the Northern Rhône, but even those feel as if they have governors on their accelerators in comparison to top vintages of Pagliaro. The 2015 has precision and nuance; its overall attack is subtle but no less impactful—direct evidence of a great terroir translated with consummate skill.
Vintage Notes: Giampiero’s wines always proudly display their vintage, and he pointedly resists striving for a consistent "product" from year to year. 2015 was a monumental vintage in Umbria, with vigorous, healthy fruit married to formidable structure, plus copious amounts of those effusive Near East spices that frequently mark Bea’s wines in such bold fashion. Giampiero tends to perform exceedingly well in warm vintages, coaxing all of the season’s generosity without ever veering into vulgarity, and 2015 illustrates his acumen there in phenomenal fashion. Though they have not rested in bottle as long as is customary before their release, these 2015s possess enough fruit amplitude that their tannins are well-buffered even in these relatively early days of development.
Winemaking Notes: There is no green harvesting and no excessive sorting, as he wants each wine to reflect the entire season’s crop and not just a choice section; fermentations begin and end without being forced in either direction, thus varying in duration notably from vintage to vintage; and the wines are bottled when they’re deemed ready to be rather than according to some schedule, with the reds in particular generally spending upwards of four years in cask. There is no regulation of temperature, no pumping, no fining, and no filtering. Giampiero relies on patience, and plenty of it, to clarify his wines, and what is in the bottle is always a full-on reflection of the fruit and the story of the season that birthed it.