Country: Italy Region: Puglia Vintage: 2019
Category: Red Wine Color: Red
VINTAGE: 2019 was a difficult harvest in Puglia. There were unseasonally cold temperatures May and early June, which are critical times for all plants. Unusually heavy rain in July caused a renewal of the vegetative cycle when the plants should have been starting the maturity process. It was a year for flexibility and technology. The ability to select vineyards and the knowledge of how and when to intervene were critical. Through hard work, A Mano have nevertheless produced excellent fruit.
PRODUCER: Mark Shannon and Elvezia Sbalchiero, the duo behind A Mano, have worked in the wine business for most of their lives. Elvezia is a northern Italian wine marketing expert and Mark is a Californian winemaker. They fell in love with Puglia and, when they decided to start their own label, made it their home. By producing high quality wines, Mark and Elvezia have succeeded in making Primitivo one of Italy's most talked about grape varieties. They pay high prices for the best grapes from 70-100 year old vines and focus solely on quality and a modern style. VINEYARDS The grapes for this wine come from winemaker Mark's favourite vineyard on the coast of the Ionian Sea. The region is an old sea bed, full of fossils of clams, oysters and urchins. The altitude is approximately 20 metres above sea level and annual rainfall is 35 centimetres. The climate is classically Mediterranean as Puglia is a peninsula between the Adriatic and the Ionian seas. The Primitivo vines are quite old; most are the original plantings after phylloxera and range from 70 to 100 years old. As with most vineyards planted at that time they are small bush vines called 'alberello' which are non-irrigated and low yielding. The average Primitivo vineyard is quite small, less than half a hectare and the best sites have a crumbly, dark reddish brown soil that resembles instant coffee.
VINIFICATION: On arrival at the cellars, the grapes were pressed and destemmed, then allowed to ferment for 36 hours without intervention, then the free run juice was drawn off and the must was cooled to 12°C. The cool must was then reintroduced to the warm cap and thoroughly mixed to gently extract colour. After racking in mid-November, the wine remained in an underground cement tank, where the temperature did not exceed 12°C, until bottling.
TASTING NOTES: This wine is deep red in colour. On the nose, there are intense aromas of ripe dark fruit, especially raspberries and cherries, with spicy notes of cocoa, lavender and liquorice. On the palate, it is youthful and full-bodied, with a great concentration of ripe, rounded fruit and full tannins. It is a very elegant, fresh and complex Primitivo.