We aim to recover the freedom of making wine with the taste of the earth from which it comes, according to the idea of assisting Nature and not dominating her. The alternative is a mad illusion.
– Paolo Bea
After years of attempting to visit Paolo Bea in Umbria, we finally connected in the Spring of 2012. Over a year later the wines have arrived on our shores. To say Bea is tempered, methodical, and patient may be the understatement of the year. Things will happen when they happen: as in the vineyard, in the cellar and in sales cycles (though we’re pretty sure Bea has never uttered the term ‘sales cycle’). Nonetheless, we are extremely proud to be able to represent the wines of Paolo Bea and finally have an opportunity to drink them in this market.
If you know Bea you are probably already converted. These are not wines we ‘sell’ – we have merely facilitated your ability to purchase them, Enjoy.
If you do not know Bea – we are sorry. Sorry that you have not yet had some of the most compelling agricultural produce in the world. And moreover, sorry that you may think of Sagrantino (if you have had one other than Bea’s) as some unrepentant ogre of a grape with no manners and a vitriolic ‘it’s not me it’s you’ attitude. Sagrantino is not that, it’s not that at all.
Sagrantino indeed has manners. It is just misunderstood and worse, mistreated. It has elbow patches on its suit jacket, smokes a pipe and wears work boots: it’s beautiful, nuanced and resolute. And, in Bea’s hands, it also speaks of Umbria in Gregorian chant. No joke.
Bea also grows Montepulciano and Sangiovese (which are blended with Sagrantino in the traditional Montefalco Rosso as well as the Pipparello) in addition to Trebbiano Spoletino (the real deal Trebbiano), Malvasia, Gargenega, Grechetto and Chardonnay. He farms without the use of additions in the vineyard and makes the wines without enzyme, sulphur, outside yeast or stabilizers. The whites see between 15 and 21 days of skin contact and the reds much longer. There is no new oak in the winery.
These are wines of time and place. Of thought, patience, and unforced precision. They take time and deserve time.