Browse Tag


Let it Bea

Bea 2006 “San Valentino” (Umbria) – This is not beginner wine. Strappy, with glass shavings in the cat o’, tropical storm lashings of biting fruit somewhere between lavender and your darkest nightmare, with crushed flowers in coal dust tempura and high-speed injections of razor-wire acidity. Alive and elusive, with sharp teeth to bite and sever the arteries of the unaware. Reading back over this note, I’m reminded of the frequent reader complaint regarding similar verbiage: “yes, but did you like it?” Well, here’s the thing: the wine’s really not concerned with being liked, and in fact is about much more than that. It’s that, as much or even more than the usual organoleptic qualities, that I like. It’s not even that the wine’s an intellectual rather than sensual pleasure. In fact, I’d call it, at heart, a primarily psycho-cultural pleasure. (8/11)

Let it Bea

Bea 2007 “Santa Chiara” (Umbria) – Whitewashed fruit, dried into powder and then reconstituted into something utterly fascinating. It’s like drinking light in fine particulate form. Persists, persists, persists…and then it’s gone, clean and full of memory. Absolutely compelling. (5/10)

Chiara scuro

Bea 2006 “Santa Chiara” (Umbria) – Dark bronze, rather than orange, yet color aside all the signs of an orange wine are here: stiff tannin, a powerful mélange of spices, dried citrus rinds, and earthen characters, and an insistent…nay, demanding…mouthfeel. Served after a procession of red wines with a cheese course (varied stuff, too…goat, blue, salty & hard, triple-cream), and it performs brilliantly where any given white or red wouldn’t. An absolutely delicious, compelling, complex wine. (9/09)

Lago land

Castello di Corbara 2002 Lago di Corbara (Umbria) – 50% sangiovese, the rest split evenly between cabernet sauvignon and merlot. Light, with a dark-toned exterior. Flavorful but thin, and kinda pointless. (8/09)


[banner logo]Bea 2004 “Arboreus” (Umbria) – A tarnished brass sculpture of an orange/apple still life. A ringing broadsword slash of mineral-enhanced tannin. A pale orange sweep of a distant lighthouse, shrouded in mysterious fogs. A biting acid-wash swirled with naturally-derived organic dyes, still aromatic and of variable textures. In other words, this is my fourth or fifth taste of this wine, and I’m no closer to pinning it down than I was before. Endlessly fascinating, it is. (7/09)

Gotta Bea me

Bea 2004 “Arboreus” (Umbria) – Sweet spice. Round, pretty, and very complete. This is the wine version of Miles’ In a Silent Way, and that’s high praise from me. (7/09)

Rubesco, before you get hurt

[bottle]Lungarotti 2005 Rosso di Torgiano “Rubesco” (Umbria) – Spiced strawberry (light on the former, heavier on the latter) as tasted through a gravel filter; not that the wine is stripped in any way, but that it picks up the taste and texture of choppy rocks, to its benefit. There are some richer soil notes as well, and perhaps a dusting of black pepper later on. Solid. Not inspiring, but there’s a fair suggestion of balancing structure as well, and based on history it would probably be worth holding this for a while to see what develops. (3/09)

Aunt Bea

Bea 1998 Montefalco Secco “Superiore” (Umbria) – Very tannic, but aromatically lush with crushed lilacs. Lovely. Young. (9/08)

The duke rocks

Colli Spoletini 1990 Sagrantino di Montefalco “Roccaducale” (Umbria) – Texturally, this combines powder and silk, like old European royalty, with ancient black fruit and a finish that’s both vivid and faded. Strikingly excellent. (9/08)

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