Mark Shannon and his partner Elvezia Sbalchiero have succeeded in making Primitivo one of Italy's most talked about grape varieties. By paying high prices for the best grapes (sourced from 70 to 100-year-old vines) and focussing solely on quality and a modern style, they have revolutionised the style and calibre of Primitivo.
Part of the reason for the continued success of A Mano is the knowledge that Mark and Elvezia have after 18 vintages in the region. Not only are they getting access to Salento's best grapes, but their growers have also come to realise that if they want the higher price paid by A Mano, they need to provide even better grapes than in previous years.
The grapes for this blend are grown in vineyards located in the area of Lizzano. Suitable vineyards need to be sought out because Rosato needs both colour and full flavour at lower ripeness, which is not typical of Puglia. The sandy vineyards are high up on the hillside, dry farmed and are over 30 years old.
On arrival at the winery, the grapes were crushed and immediately pressed. The contact time with the skins was measured in seconds, not hours. The grapes were processed as fast as possible in order to ensure that all the fruit flavours were preserved and colours kept under control. The juice then underwent a slow fermentation at low temperatures of 7ºC in order to retain the delicate perfumes of the grapes.
Bright pink in colour with a lively, youthful perfume of ripe strawberries and a touch of fresh mint. On the palate, it is surprisingly full-bodied with good structure, perfectly balanced with a delicate fruit character and zesty, lightly spiced finish.