2014 Paolo Bea Montefalco Rosso San Valentino
The 2014 Montefalco Rosso San Valentino is the result of a very difficult vintage for Paolo Bea, though you’d never know it. Here I’m finding an exotic, layered expression, as rosy florals and peppery herbs give way to sweet, crushed strawberries with smoky minerals, hints of soy and rich brown spices. Soft textures effortlessly wash across the senses with feminine weight, displaying pure red and blue fruits, and giving way to a coating of liquid florals and saturating minerals. The finish is long and grippier than expected, yet purity is the name of the game, as pretty berry fruits resonate over a gentle twang of youthful tannin. Giampiero’s vineyards were hit hard by downy mildew in 2014, and all of the fruit he saved went into this year’s San Valentino. While it’s not on the same level as recent vintages, it’s still a very special wine that delivers a lot of pleasure, and at only 12.5% alcohol.
2020 – 2024
2012 Paolo Bea Montefalco Rosso San Valentino
The bouquet on the 2012 Montefalco Rosso San Valentino is dark and hauntingly seductive. It registers 1.5% less abv than the previous vintage, and shows depths of earthy, almost animal-like complexities. Here I’m finding dried cherries drenched in balsamic spice, with moist soil notes, crushed lava stone, dusty dried flowers and hints of brown sugar. Sour berries, tangerine and masses of exotic inner florals, as zesty acids make the mouth water. The finish is long, zesty, spicy, and tart, yet still so energetic, as vibrant acids refuse to give in to its structural intensity. The result is a spell-binding and tactile experience that is impossible not to like, and easily one of my favorite vintages to date for San Valentino.
2020 – 2028
2011 Paolo Bea Montefalco Rosso Pipparello Riserva
The 2011 Montefalco Rosso Pipparello Riserva is a massive and towering wine, dark and brooding at first, as balsamic-infused black cherries give way to mint, sage, curry spices, fresh tobacco and sweet minerals. On the palate, silky textures caress the senses, just as a wave of tart berry mixed with zesty acids, minerals and tannin settles in. The finish is incredibly long and structured, with continued intensity on the palate, as grippy tannin holds firm against notes of tart fruit, black tea, spice and minerals. It’s a serious “experience wine” that just needs a few more years to come together. I can’t wait to see how it matures.
2022 – 2036