Paolo Bea, Grand Cru
2007 Paolo Bea Sagrantino di Montefalco
"Among the finest wines to emerge
from Montefalco, and Italy"
We've waited a long time for this.
Years ago, we heard that Bea had planted one of the choicest parcels of Montefalco with Sagrantino. After that, it was a waiting game for the vines to get old enough.
In the really, really impressive 2007 vintage, we were very happy to see Bea's Cerrete make its debut.
The 2007 Sagrantino has all the signs of a great vintage for Bea. It may very well be included with Bea's legendary '96 and '01 Sagrantinos. The 2007 vintage produced a Sagrantino of power, jam-packed with complexity.
It would be hard to imagine a more ideal vintage for the unveiling of Cerrete. In 2007, Umbria saw warm temperatures throughout much of the summer with cool nights and almost perfectly timed rainfall in October that allowed the late ripening Sagrantino grape to be harvested in November with concentration and beautiful balance.
Cerrete is Bea's highest elevation vineyard. Neil Rosenthal writes that it "is perhaps the greatest combination of height and exposition in the appellation." I remember having lunch with Giampiero Bea (Paolo's son) four years ago and hearing him talk excitedly about Cerrete's potential and how carefully they selected the site. Calling it Bea's Grand Cru is simplistic, for sure, but not inaccurate.
Our deep fondness for Paolo Bea is well chronicled. There's a magic to Bea. It's impossible to put your finger on it. They are some of the most soulful and captivating wines that you'll ever taste. They're multifaceted, deeply mysterious wines.
It's these qualities that lead Antonio Galloni to write: "The Bea wines are all about subtlety, grace and elegance. At their best, they are among the finest wines to emerge from Montefalco, and Italy, for that matter."
A big part of what makes Cerrete so special is the elevation. The elevation brings out a wild intensity along with lift and elegance. The combination is killer. Compared to the Sagrantino Pagliaro that we love, Cerrete is both more explosively complex and lighter on its feet.
What keeps us returning to Bea is how the wines have a rustic and wild side yet display an undeniable nobility that's completely on their own terms. Bea's Sagrantinos are so singular, so firmly rooted in a sense of place and their maker. Cerrete takes all of this to a new level. For Bea fans, this is not to be missed.
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