Paolo Bea 2015 Montefalco Rosso Riserva, Pipparello, DOC
Item Number: 14563
Sub Region: Umbria
Appellation/AVA: Montefalco Rosso DOC
Estate Grown Wine: Yes
Vineyard Designation: Pipparello Vineyard
Grape(s): 60% Sangiovese / 25% Montepulciano / 15% Sagrantino
Type: Wine - Red
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Viticulture: Practicing Organic
Soil Type: Gravel and clay
Elevation: 400 meters
Wine Notes: The cru Pipparello is situated at 400 meters altitude with soils of gravel and clay, and this bottling displays Bea’s masterful touch with Sangiovese, which achieves a wilder expression here than in neighboring Tuscany. Comprising 60% Sangiovese, 25% Montepulciano, and 15% Sagrantino, the phenomenal 2015 harnesses the combination of power and energy that characterizes the vintage. Clocking in just under 15% alcohol, it bears its broadness gracefully, with a blossoming nose of black olives, Indian spices, and bittersweet chocolate. Certain vintages of Pipparello de-emphasize varietal expressiveness in favor of a greater overall sense of spicy, earthy complexity, but the dominant presence of Sangiovese is clearly articulated in this 2015, whose palate displays surprising drive and acidity. It’s a heavyweight that can really dance in the ring.
Vintage Notes: After two painfully challenging, downy-mildew-ravaged growing seasons—Giampiero Bea produced no red wine at all in 2013, and only San Valentino in 2014—the 2015 vintage was a godsend. 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 produced a prodigious amount of wine from a remarkably healthy crop, remarking that the 2015 vintage easily possesses an aging potential of 15 to 20 years. 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.