Paolo Bea “Pipparello” Montefalco Rosso Riserva 2015

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The cru Pipparello is situated at 400 meters altitude with soils of gravel and clay, and this bottling displays Bea’s masterful touch with Sangiovese, which achieves a wilder expression here than in neighboring Tuscany. Comprising 60% Sangiovese, 25% Montepulciano, and 15% Sagrantino, the phenomenal 2015 harnesses the combination of power and energy that characterizes the vintage here. Clocking in just under 15% alcohol, it bears its broadness gracefully, with a blossoming nose of black olives, Indian spices, and bittersweet chocolate. Certain vintages of Pipparello deemphasize varietal expressiveness in favor of a greater overall sense of spicy, earthy complexity, but the dominant presence of Sangiovese is clearly articulated in this ’15, whose palate displays surprising drive and acidity. It’s a heavyweight that can really dance in the ring.