“As a child, I learned this craft from my father……….
Our history and tradition is the source of our knowledge and inspiration.  Today, my family is here with me, all working together. Our roots in Montefalco trace back to the 1500’s, as documents in the village archives attest to. 
Through passion sustained and encouraged by my sons, Giuseppe and Giampiero, and also by the irreplaceable presence of Marina, my wife, our family has come to appreciate each other in more profound ways, each day relishing the fruits of our labor at our table.
With each passing year, I better understand our land; respecting and caring for it  And at the end of each year we extract from it a wine which is  unique, continually developing, improving, and sustaining our health.
With an ever growing conviction, we practice, discover, and appreciate natural winemaking methods that exclude the use of chemicals in the vineyard and artificial stabilizing techniques in the winery.
Each season is a new discovery, a chance to apply and evaluate knowledge we have gained in previous years.”
……….Paolo Bea

~ Sagrantino at Paolo Bea ~

As I sat trying to think of a way to communicate the passion, respect for tradition, and the kinship with the earth that is ingrained in the philosophy of everything that Paolo Bea does,  I simply could not form the words nor do justice to the family.  I think the quote above speaks volumes.  
In 2003,  a hushed rumor began to spread around Montefalco that Paolo Bea had planted one of the choicest of vineyard with Sagrantino.  Since then, it was a waiting game for the vines to get mature enough to produce optimal grapes.  2007 was the perfect vintage for Cerrete to make its majestic debut.  

Vigneto Cerrete lies at the highest point in Montefalco and benefits from perfect exposition.  The vineyard represents a Grand Cru of sorts for Bea and Giampiero Bea could hardly contain his excitement and anticipation for the wines once the site was planted. 

The 2007 Paolo Bea Cerrete Sagrantino is a monumental wine and clearly, emphatically, lives up to the expectations for the vineyard.   We decanted the wine for 60 minutes before dinner;  a pristine Bistecca Fiorentina with all the trimmings.  

In the glass,  the wine is a deep violet color with nary a lighter hue at the rim of the bowl.  The aromas are explosive and powerful.  Crushed plum and wild berries,  fresh flowers, alpine herbs, cocoa powder, roasted coffee, new leather and tobacco are noticeable, harmonic and intense.  The bouquet so unique, as I write this, I can remember how it smelled in the glass.  

On the palate, this towering wine displays the unique talent of sheer force and absolute elegance. Wild berries and plums dance nimbly on the palate and linger long enough to allow the taster to discern spices, powdery minerals, tobacco leaves, cocoa, chestnut and new leather.  The trailing finish leaves notes of anise and mint.  Young Sagrantino are often weighed down by brutish tannins.  Cerrete also dispels that notion.  The architecture between acid, fruit, tertiary characteristics and tannins is so deftly orchestrated that nothing feels imbalanced.   
As wonderful as this wine is right now,  I can see glimpses of it improving as it ages.  I also see an even brighter future for this wine as the vineyard continues to mature and future vintages are released.  98 points.  $109 and yes.

~ A Sagrantino Masterpiece from Paolo Bea ~


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