2007 Paolo Bea, Pipparello, Rosso Riserva, Montefalco DOC, Umbria, Italy.
The wines at Paolo Be a are natural, unique and wonderfully different, they employee natural winemaking methods, no chemicals or additives ever, and are influenced by biodynamics and a sting believe in a healthy ecosystem, with all these connected, and moon cycles are very important here. Native yeasts, field blending and long maceration, up to 42 days are used in there upper end wines, they use stainless steel vats and large oak vessels, this combination and the fact that they allow a long settling time in bottle before release allows the wines to stabilize, develop and be expressive on release. The blended cuvees from 2007, the Rosso de Veo and this Pipparello are fantastic, brave and charming wines, it would be hard to pick a favorite, both show intense personal character, depth and style, much credit is deserved of Paolo Bea and his sons Giuseppe and Giampiero for staying true to their beliefs, even after so much acclaim and fame have come their way. I opted to focus here on the Montefalco Rosso Riserva Pipparello, a blend of Sangiovese, Montepulciano and of course Sangrantino, a dynamic red that comes in at 14% alcohol, from the 2007 vintage and which is the current release, after 12 months in stainless tank, 24 months in large cask and another year or so in bottle, and then being held a bit longer after being imported to the states. The nose opens slowly with dried flowers, earth, mint and brandy poached red fruits on the nose, a dark garnet hue greets the light in the glass and the palate explodes with layers of raspberry, plum, black cherry, balsamic dipped strawberry, wild herbs, truffle, game and black licorice along with dusty stones, tobacco leaf, a hint of shaved vanilla, Turkish figs and saline. The tannins are ever present, but never feel rough or interrupt the pleasure that flows from start to finish on this exciting wine, it is hard to compare the Bea wines to anything else, that is their soul and magic, but the Pipparello has a Barolo sort of feel to it and while the Sangiovese is the main leader here it doesn’t taste like anything you’d find in Tuscany. The Pipparello is a joyous red that shines especially bright with hearty food and thoughtful company, it has some intellectual sides to it, some funk and a playfulness that will bring lots of smiles, drink from 2014 to 2021.
($70 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive
avail at www.sfwtc.com