Paolo Bea Lapideus
Paolo Bea Lapideus
The Bea family’s roots in Umbria run deep, dating back to the early 16th century. Today, Paolo Bea is assisted by his two sons, Giuseppe and Giampiero, who help cultivate the property’s 15 hectares of vines, olives, and vegetables. Vineyards are farmed organically and wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered. ‘Lapideus’ comes from 80-year-old Trebbiano vines and spends 35 days on the skins, followed by 210 days on the gross lees. Racy and spicy!
Giampiero acquired a parcel of 80-year-old Trebbiano Spoletino in the town of Pigge di Trevi several years back, and thus with this 2014 we have an exciting new addition to the Bea lineup. Arising from a cooler microclimate than the “Arboreus” above, “Lapideus” spent a lengthy 35 days on it skins after pressing, followed by 210 additional days on the gross lees—a similar vinification to “Arboreus,” yet one that yielded entirely different results. Though no less deeply amber in its appearance, “Lapideus” has a leaner, racier carriage than the broad-shouldered “Arboreus,” with more filigree, a less overwhelmingly intense nose of apricots, cloves, and candied ginger. If “Arboreus” is a sea to swim in, “Lapideus” is a rocket to ride, emphasizing drive and lift over layered density. It is still a wine of impressive power, especially given its modest 12% alcohol, but the fruit here is more direct, pure, and foregrounded. So often the so-called “orange wines” seem to stand alone, iconoclastic creations that defy fine-tuned peer-group comparisons and revel in their singular personalities. Even the discourse that surrounds them tends to treat them more as wines of technique than wines of terroir. Thus, it is fascinating to experience the same grape variety given roughly the same treatment by the same grower, whereby the differences in the wines are largely driven by the differences in their underlying places of origin. The challenging 2014 growing season yielded a mere 1800 bottles of this wine.
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