A blend of roughly 60% Sangiovese, 25% Montepulciano and 15% Sagrantino that will make a Brunello drinker’s head spin. Similarly large-scaled as the San Valentino above, the Pipparello is more overwhelmingly brooding, and even more intense in itsconcentration. The ultra-savory nose is a thick swamp of camphor, black olives, fresh tar, and sandalwood, with pretty hightoned spices lurking in the background. Its palate is arrestingly dense, yet it carries an incredible amount of energy given its overall disposition. This is a rough-and-tumble, wholly uncompromising wine without a polite bone in its body, yet it still manages to be erudite and nuanced—an embodiment of the spirit of the Bea style at its most extreme.
AOC'S GUIDE TO PAOLO BEA: The Pope of Sagrantino, an Italian National Treasure
These are simply some of Italy’s most thrilling wines and have been for years. They are the true double threat in terms of allocations as they receive tremendous love and adoration from the collector, sommelier, and natural wine communities. They were natural wine before natural wine was even a thing. Despite their low sulfur additions, no new oak, and traditional winemaking, these powerful, tannic, behemoths crafted from the classic varieties of the Central Italian waistline are generously ripe and fleshy at 15.0% ABV. These wines are so big they would make any Napa wine but Harlan Estate pink in the cheeks. From one of the US's greatest importers, Rosenthal Wines, "Bea’s wines remain singular—boisterous, unabashedly wild expressions of their undulating, sun-drenched hills of origin, each new vintage of which is eagerly anticipated by a legion of loyal clients." Their opulence and grippy tannic structure is balanced by a space opera of exotic spices, herbs and aromatics tantrically woven into a velvet fabric. If you're both a lover of funk and an Italian wine lover and have not discovered these yet, welcome to your next dream wine. - BK