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Back by Client Demand: Cru Paolo Bea Sagrantino, $22 Valpolicella, and Luscious Vigna d'Alceo
February 20, 2017
A Note from Sergio

I love Umbria's Paolo Bea. Devoted to making its wines naturally, Bea's primary grape is Montefalco's Sagrantino. Though Bea grows other grapes, it's the Sagrantino that gives the estate its cult status. Sagrantino, among the most tannic grapes in the world, is a varietal of great power, complexity and suppleness. It's a grape that makes a sensuous, wily wine that while bursting with dark fruits also retains a seductive funkiness. Bea's Sagrantino wines often make me think of one of those incredibly beautiful art- school hippie girls who smells faintly of roses and patchouli and whom you remember long after you've left college behind. Like that memory, this is a wine that only gets better as it grows older.

Today, I'm very pleased to bring back a beloved Bea wine, the estate's 2008 Sagrantino di Montefalco Secco Pagliaro. This is a cru Sagrantino, one that Paolo, and his sons Giampiero and Giuseppe, make only in the very best years, and it is very special. On Valentine's Day, I gave you all the 2009 vintage of this wine. It's explosive and grabs you to pull you in. The 2008 is a little more reserved, but it's still a wild ride. These two vintages together are more than a little astounding, and I'm happy that I managed to score a new allocation of the '08 Sagrantino di Montefalco Secco Pagliaro so you can see.

Along with this returning Paolo Bea wine, I'm very happy to offer two more bottles that my clients have loved. The first is a $22 Valpolicella Ripasso from family-owned Begali. Go-to wines are the unsung workhorses of our cellars and our tables. It's easy to praise a big, expensive bottle, and it's easy to fall in love with one. But these small Tuesday night wines are the ones we rely upon, and this Begali Valpolicella is one of the best. Finally, Castello dei Rampolla's wines were among the first I picked for IWM when I opened its doors almost two decades ago. Vigna d'Alceo is a consistent knockout and this 2011 is stunning. If you've never had this biodynamic Super Tuscan, now is the time.


Today's Featured Sections Include:

1. Spotlight on Excellence:
Classic, Structured 2008 Paolo Bea Montefalco Pagliaro
2. Only At IWM:
Is This Begali Valpolicella Your New Go-To Red?
3. Time Sensitive Offer: Castello dei Rampolla's Extraordinary 2011 Vigna d'Alceo
4. Wine Events: Upcoming February / March Wine Tasting Events

My Best,

Sergio Esposito