Paolo Bea Sagrantino di Montefalco "Pagliaro" 2016
While Sangiovese is the most prolific of the Umbrian varietals, Umbria’s identity is intimately connected to Sagrantino, a grape that has enjoyed premier positioning in Umbria for centuries, conducting an extensive and noted history as a passitowine. In fact, though an exceedingly rare native—limited to a mere 400 acres of vineyards—this distinct minority mediates between the two discrete flavor profiles that characterize this region’s offerings—earth-driven Sangiovese-based wines and modern-oriented blends crafted from the principal international varieties. The wines of Paolo Bea, however, are slightly “off center,” veering more towards the former profile—headlined by the wines of Lungarotti—than the latter. This stylistic predilection is enabled by Bea’s rejection of barrique, yet his wines do not take on a distinct profile; rather, distinctions are realized both between vintages and, at times, within the context of a single vintage.