The first shipment of the wines of the 2006 vintage from Paolo Bea arrived last week. Yes, five plus years after the harvest the wines have been released.
Contrary to the generally high quality wines produced in 2006 from the neighboring zone of Tuscany, the ’06 vintage in Umbria was problematic with grapes struggling to achieve ripeness. At the outset, I was fearful that the usually outrageous and flamboyant wines that have made the Bea estate noteworthy would lack their usual panache.
I have “worried” these wines through their long evolution in cask and now in bottle. It is a vintage sandwiched between the exceptional harvests at Bea of 2005 and 2007 and, as a result, suffers the disadvantage of comparison to unusually formidable wines.
Over the past several days we have drunk at table both the Rosso de Veo (essentially young vines Sagrantino) and the ultimate wine of the estate: the Sagrantino Secco “Pagliaro”. They are, happily, triumphant. All of the funk and swagger that we normally associate with these wines are there. They are more precocious than usual, basically “a point” … ready to drink … vigorous, lively, flavorful. And, perhaps the best part of this success story is that our original concerns about the evolution of this vintage convinced us and the Bea family that we had to make the pricing more reasonable to compensate for the uncertainty we all felt.
So, we now can not only brag about the quality of the Bea wines but also the exciting value that this vintage of 2006 offers. I can encourage you all, and with a grand sigh of relief, to plunge into this joyous trio of wines from the unique and profound estate of Paolo Bea: Rosso de Veo, Montefalco Rosso Riserva “Pipparello” and Montefalco Sagrantino Secco “Pagliaro”. NIR