98 Paolo Bea Sagrantino: HOLY SHIT!

One of the great things about the nights I work the floor at Sotto in Los Angeles (where I author the wine list) is the wines that collectors share with me (Sotto charges $18 for corkage).

And as much as I was digging the Cos 2008 Nero di Lupo last night (100% Nero d’Avola by one of the great Natural wine producers of Europe, recently added to my list), who could turn down a glass of 1998 Sagrantino by Paolo Bea???!!


I’ve asked Giampiero Bea what he thinks about the aging potential of his wines. Regrettably, he hasn’t kept a library of old vintages and you rarely come across older bottlings. When I asked him about it a few years ago, he told me that, frankly, he doesn’t know how the wines will hold up.

Dan Fredman, wine industry PR guru who generously shared this wine with me, and I agreed that this wine has many years ahead of it. The tannin has mellowed but is still very much present in the wine. The fruit was ripe red with earthy undertones, the acidity still very much alive and nervy, as the Italians would say. Fanfriggintastic wine… THANK YOU DAN! You rock — literally and figuratively…

We had an amazing dinner rush last night at Sotto and the glitterati were out in full force (who knew that rockstars dig rosé from Negroamaro?). Thank you to everyone who has come out to support me and my friends there. We’re having a great time…

I’ll be there again tonight: please come and see me and I’ll pour you a glass of wonderful…

11 thoughts on “98 Paolo Bea Sagrantino: HOLY SHIT!

  1. The 98 is an unusual vintage for this wine. It has drunk well since release. This is the wine that convinced me that Sagrantino can be the equal of Nebbiolo and Aglianico in producing truly great wines.

    Other vintages I’ve tried are much more tannic an backward.

  2. I’ve been able to drink the ’98 Montefalco and Riserva and both were MIND BLOWING. Still have one of each left and have been craving opening a 2000 Sagrantino. Bea is a buy every year.

  3. for the short period of time i was hanging at sotto, the vibe was really cool. i get nervous venturing that far west, but was immediately put at ease by the nice folks behind the bar and the overall feel of the place. i’m returning to eat in short order.

  4. Thanks, everyone, for weighing in. Great wine… truly inspirational…

    @KenV on the bottle it says that it was a “vendemmia molto buona”. I’m going to write to Giampiero and see if I can’t get some thoughts/reflections/memories from him…

    @Tracie P CAN’T WAIT for you to get to LA beautiful lady! :) Sotto awaits you!

  5. how often do u show up at Sotto? once a month? and do they do wine flights of esoterica? I’ve heard good buzz about that place btw & need to stop by when i get a chance.

    • would love to see you at Sotto… next visit is scheduled for June 21 and 22 and on the 22 we’ll be doing a wine dinner with Giampaolo Venica… looking forward to tasting with you… :)

  6. Congratulations Jeremy for defending the real italian wine,I’ve never tried this wine because it’s not available in my country but I have heard so many good remarks of it

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