Paolo Bea Montefalco Riserva Pipparello 2007
Paolo Bea is a cult wine from Umbria, and the Montefalco Riserva is made from 60% Sangiovese, 25% Montepulciano, and 15% Sagrantino. The Sagrantino grape is native to Umbria, and gives this wine a different taste and texture when compared to the Tuscan wines. The wine is first aged 12 months in steel, then 24 months in large oak barrels. The wine is stays in the bottle for a minimum of 12 months before it is released.
My friend Will DiNunzio from the Italian Wine Merchant (where the wine was sourced) says, “The cult-like, biodynamic, hands-off approach of this wine that only a few truly incredibly talented individuals have mastered in Italy is Paolo Bea’s daily bread and butter. His wines scream Umbrian terroir in the truest way possible and it’s not for nothing that he IS the best producer of this region. Mastering the Sagrantino grape, a smooth, balanced and delicious clone of Sangiovese, Bea makes several renditions that show just how versatile this grape can be.”
This is a very unusual wine – the Sagrantino grape gives this wine a lot of power, maybe too much so for a lot of the tasters. It is a very rich red wine, filling your nose and palate with dense wild berries and chocolate. We will re-review this wine at a later date, matching it with Bistecca alla Fiorentina or duck, as we are betting that the Montefalco will taste much better with food than on its own. We might even try this big, fruit-forward wine with lamb in the future.
For our tasting, the Paolo Bea the Montefalco Riserva Pipparello had an average score of 3.55, but the opinions were widely ranging. One taster rated it “2”, with most opinions in the range of 3 to 4, with one person saying it was the best of the evening.
Source: Italian Wine Merchants, NYC (See Jim for more info), and was purchased for $55.