2017 Paolo Bea Santa Chiara Bianco - Umbria, Italy (750ml)
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This is one of three skin-macerated white wines from the famed Bea famiy. It is a mix of Garganega, Grechetto, Malvasia, Sauvignon, and Chardonnay, all grown in the famed Pagliaro Vineyard known for its alternating layers of gravel and clay. Technique and terroir make for a truly unique wine that is a must try for anyone who finds themselves interested in “orange wines”. If you think them a trite trend, then this might be the wine to change your mind: Unfettered and wild, floral aromas and warm spices dominate the nose. Young stone fruits, a noticeable dash of white pepper, and a very tertiary hint of candied citrus are splashed across honest tannins, amazing acidity, and an underlying mineral heft on the palate. Like Bea’s peerless reds, Santa Chiara is a triumph of opposing forces effortlessly integrated. It’s that rare combination of intellectually riveting and straight-up delicious that few wines achieve on anywhere close to this level. Pair this wine with strongly aromatic roasted vegetables like fennel or parsnip, or a strong, stinky cheese.