Showing all 5 results

  • Paolo Bea Montefalco Riserva Pipparello 2015

    £79.95

    “Deeply alluring with dark exotic spices, balsam herbs and hints of dried citrus, the 2015 Montefalco Rosso Riserva Pipparello makes itself known. This is deeply textural, enveloping the palate with silken waves of ripe black cherries, balsamic spice and inner tobacco tones. It echoes with black fruits and mentholated herbs while tapering off with fine yet wonderfully rounded tannins. This is a ripe yet perfectly balanced vintage that should be a beauty after medium-term cellaring. There is simply so much pleasure to be had here. The Pipparello is a blend ot 60% Sangiovese, 25% Sagrantino and 15% Bocca Rossa (Montepulciano). Drinking window: 2025-2033. 94 points

    Paolo Bea doesn’t necessarily follow organic or biodynamic principles, although you’d be hard-pressed to find a more natural approach. The family farms five hectares of vineyards that are primarily located near the estate, some (as in the Cerrette vineyard) reaching up to 500 meters above sea level. Whether discussing natural wine or listening to the fermenting Sagrantino bubbling in the cellar, Giampiero Bea’s passion is enlightening. Bea takes great pride in the old-vine Trebbiano Spoletino he cares for throughout the entire region. These vines are truly married (“vite maritata”), with the trees planted in between them, circling up their trunks and along their limbs. There are 15 different parcels like this throughout Montefalco that are used to create the Arboreus, each one only a small row or two, and tended for with exceptional attention, as one needs to climb up to the limbs of the tree to trim, maintain and harvest. A tour of the vineyards includes ancient grains and fauna used to promote biodiversity. Watching Giampiero Bea prepare and pour each bottle felt like being in a church rather than a winery, as each wine was handled like an icon or relic in preparation. In the past, I’ve spoken about the variation that can sometimes be found in these wines due to their low sulfur levels and occasional volatility. Still, from the 18 bottles that were opened and tasted, not a single one showed any sign of flaws. This alone reaffirms the importance of trusting the source of your bottle. The vintages in front of me were 2015 (hot and dry), 2016 (warm yet fresh, especially around harvest) and 2017 (torrid with reduced quantities), which reflect the continuing warming trend in the region. Unlike many other producers, Bea has managed to cull magnificently balanced wines from each year, especially 2016, where the house style and the vintage characteristics have come together to create some exceptional wines. The wines of Paolo Bea are rare, sometimes quirky, not cheap and prone to damage from storage conditions, but they are also among the absolute top wines being made in Italy today.”

    Eric Guido, Vinous (11/22)

    In Stock

  • Paolo Bea Rosso de Veo 2011

    £74.99

    Four bottles available

    “How is Paolo Bea one of the few iconic producers in Italy to remain under the radar? It’s a combination of low quantity, releasing late, lack of desire to market themselves, and an unwillingness to submit wines for review to the press. Luckily, I’ve been collecting them for many years and was happy to pull well-stored vintages from my cellar for review.

    The history of the Bea family is closely tied to Montefalco, going back as far as the 16th century. There is no winemaking wizardry and no chemicals in the vineyard or winery. Instead, it’s complete respect for what each vintage brings to the table, and the Bea family’s desire to bottle that expression, capturing the essence of terroir, without taking anything away. The current generation, represented by Giampiero and Giuseppe, continues to work their five hectares of vineyards by hand, choosing to use only one-third of their 15-hectare property for the production of grapes, even though they could easily continue planting to expand. Their vineyards occupy the higher elevations of Montefalco terroir, reaching up to 1,500 feet above sea level, and taking advantage of a diverse mix of soils. It’s here that they have begun to vineyard-designate their lineup of Sagrantino. In the winery, gentle macerations and slow fermentations can last from three weeks to as many as seven before the wine is placed into steel tanks for a year to rest, and then large neutral wood for up to two years. At this point, the wines are bottled without filtration and extremely low, if any, added sulfur, and left to rest for another year. This process is a long, painstaking effort that is extremely costly to the producer, but the Bea family insists on releasing wines that they deem ready to drink.”

    Eric Guido, Vinous (06/20)

    In Stock

  • Paolo Bea Rosso de Veo 2015

    £84.95

    “The 2015 Rosso de Veo is monstrously intense yet wonderfully balanced, showing masses of crushed black cherry, balsamic spice, stone dust and wild, exotic florals on the nose. Velvety textures give way to ripe red and blue berries with a spicy-citrus twang, backed by stimulating acids, as saline-minerality saturates under a coating of liquid violets. This finishes long, staining the palate with fruit concentrate and grippy tannins, yet considering how structured this is, there’s a balance here that provides plenty of pleasure already. This is simply gorgeous and has a very bright future ahead of it. Drinking window: 2022-2032. 93 points

    Giampiero and Giuseppe Bea continue to work their five hectares of vineyards by hand, choosing to use only one-third of their 15-hectare property for grape production even though they could easily continue planting to expand. Their vineyards occupy the higher elevations of Montefalco terroir, reaching up to 500 meters above sea level. The Beas don’t label themselves organic or biodynamic; they simply farm the way their family did long before herbicides and pesticides were developed, depending on biodiversity and Mother Nature’s fertilizers to deliver a transparent representation of each vintage. In the winery, gentle macerations and slow fermentations can last from three weeks to as many as seven before the wine is placed into steel tanks for a year to rest. For the bigger reds, this is followed by refinement in large Slavonian oak for up to three years. At this point, the wines are bottled without filtration and little, if any, added sulfur, and then left to rest for another year or more. Giampiero Bea will tell you that he sells his wines when they are “ready,” but when dealing with a grape as naturally high in tannin as Sagrantino, you have to take that with a grain of salt. The most recent releases include the long-awaited 2015 Riserva Pipparello, a wine that is typically released before the Sagrantino Pagliaro (which came out in early 2020) but was held back until now. This blend of Sangiovese, Montepulciano and Sagrantino has become a perennial favorite of mine. It’s typically a wine of power yet also grace, with the potential to mature for well over a decade, and the 2015 is no different. Another recent release is the 2012 Sagrantino Cerrete, which hails from poor mineral-rich soils in the highest elevation-vineyard planted to Sagrantino in Montefalco, at up to 500 meters. This is a wine that trades power for grace yet will last for ages. It will also take many years to come fully into form. But that’s okay, because you can always occupy yourself with the more lightly structured, young-vines Sagrantinos, the 2015 Rosso de Veo or the 2015 San Valentino, which is a sexy blend of Sangiovese, Montepulciano and Sagrantino intended for early consumption. Keep in mind with the wines of Paolo Bea that there is the risk of bottle variation and volatile acidity, which I’ve encountered on more than one occasion. For me, each great experience with these wines outweighs the letdowns.”

    Eric Guido, Vinous (08/21)

    In Stock

  • Paolo Bea Sagrantino di Montefalco Pagliaro 2015

    £109.95

    “The 2015 Montefalco Sagrantino Pagliaro is spicy and sweetly scented, opening with a burst of exotic sweet curries, dusty rose, currants and tobacco. Here the energy is dialed up a notch, matching silky textures with mineral-tinged red and black fruits that gain tension through a saturation of primary concentration as fine tannins mount toward the close. A slight twang of bitterness lingers through the lightly structured finale, yet with a burst of inner sweetness that balances it all out beautifully. The 2015 will benefit from further cellaring, yet it’s hard to keep my hands off it already. But, waiting will provide the most reward. Drinking window: 2024-2033. 93 points

    Paolo Bea doesn’t necessarily follow organic or biodynamic principles, although you’d be hard-pressed to find a more natural approach. The family farms five hectares of vineyards that are primarily located near the estate, some (as in the Cerrette vineyard) reaching up to 500 meters above sea level. Whether discussing natural wine or listening to the fermenting Sagrantino bubbling in the cellar, Giampiero Bea’s passion is enlightening. Bea takes great pride in the old-vine Trebbiano Spoletino he cares for throughout the entire region. These vines are truly married (“vite maritata”), with the trees planted in between them, circling up their trunks and along their limbs. There are 15 different parcels like this throughout Montefalco that are used to create the Arboreus, each one only a small row or two, and tended for with exceptional attention, as one needs to climb up to the limbs of the tree to trim, maintain and harvest. A tour of the vineyards includes ancient grains and fauna used to promote biodiversity. Watching Giampiero Bea prepare and pour each bottle felt like being in a church rather than a winery, as each wine was handled like an icon or relic in preparation. In the past, I’ve spoken about the variation that can sometimes be found in these wines due to their low sulfur levels and occasional volatility. Still, from the 18 bottles that were opened and tasted, not a single one showed any sign of flaws. This alone reaffirms the importance of trusting the source of your bottle. The vintages in front of me were 2015 (hot and dry), 2016 (warm yet fresh, especially around harvest) and 2017 (torrid with reduced quantities), which reflect the continuing warming trend in the region. Unlike many other producers, Bea has managed to cull magnificently balanced wines from each year, especially 2016, where the house style and the vintage characteristics have come together to create some exceptional wines. The wines of Paolo Bea are rare, sometimes quirky, not cheap and prone to damage from storage conditions, but they are also among the absolute top wines being made in Italy today.”

    Eric Guido, Vinous (11/22)

    In Stock

  • Castello della Sala Cervaro della Sala 2019

    £61.95

    Review to follow

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