Paolo Bea 2015 'San Valentino' Umbria Rosso IGP
Item Number: 14620
Sub Region: Umbria
Appellation/AVA: Umbria IGP
Estate Grown Wine: Yes
Grape(s): 70% Sangiovese / 15% Sagrantino / 15% Montepulciano
Type: Wine - Red
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Alc by Vol(%): 13.9
Viticulture: Practicing Organic
Tasting Notes: Although it is their most modestly priced offering, the much-beloved San Valentino is a full-bore Bea experience, and the 2015 is arguably the greatest version we have ever encountered. With an astonishing 59 days of maceration, this blend of 70% Sangiovese with 15% each Sagrantino and Montepulciano rested one year in steel, three years in large Slavonian casks, and an additional year in bottle before its release—the same long and rigorous aging process as its pricier siblings. The nose is pure Bea: a faint whisper of volatility leads the charge, met shortly thereafter by a rushing battalion of dark red and black fruits hurling all manner of Spice Route spoils at the stunned taster. The remarkably fresh palate underscores the vintage’s immense and deeply satisfying tension, and at 13.9% alcohol it feels nearly nimble.
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.