Happy Valentine's Day! Today's eLetter is filled with wines I love. Four are Italian "big reds" from iconoclast Paolo Bea. Two are Spanish "big reds" from Vega-Sicilia, the most respected winemaker in Spain. And one is a singular bottle of Champagne from Jacques Selosse. Bringing these wines to you makes my heart fill with joy!
The label on every bottle of Paolo Bea wine reads, "'IL VINO É VIVO," or "the wine is alive." You can't believe a lot of the hype that you see on wine bottles, but you can believe this line. Bea is one of the founders of Gruppo ViniVeri, the True Wine Group, an organization of winemakers like Giuseppe Rinaldi who pledge to make their wines as naturally and with as little intervention as possible. Following these principles, Bea makes wines that just about leap from the glass; they're energetic and forceful. Like some kind of comic book superhero, these wines--especially Bea's Sagrantino bottlings--constantly morph and shift, showing different sides of themselves in a fluid unfolding of notes. They're dynamic, and they are beautiful.
Today, I'm very proud to present four new Bea releases, all featuring Sagrantino, Umbria's most important red grape. These are gorgeous wines, and if you've ever felt like Umbrian winemaking lingers needlessly in the shadows of Toscana, these bottles prove you right. Along with these four Bea wines, I'm delighted to present two new Único releases from Vega-Sicilia, both the 2005 Único and the 2017 release of the estate's non-vintage Único Reserva Especial. Finally, there's a blanc de blancs from Jacques Selosse. This fine Champagne will make you fall in love.