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 wines of quality, 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 to 100-year-old vines and focus solely on quality and a modern style. After over fifteen vintages, they are now getting access to some of Salento's best grapes.
The grapes are grown in vineyards located in the Salento peninsula of Puglia. A rare and ancient red Puglian varietySusumaniello was used mostly as a blending component until a few years ago. The name means 'little donkey' in local dialect, from the enormous load the vines bear when young, although others say that it is so called because it is stubborn and difficult to manage! The sandy vineyards are high up on the hillside, dry farmed and are over 30 years old.
Upon arrival at the winery, the grapes were sorted and cold fermented in stainless steel tanks. Pump-overs were very gentle so as not to over-extract the aggressive tannins of this unusual variety. The wine was bottled without fining.
Deep, inky purple-black in the glass. Intense aromas of blackberry and chocolate are supported by blueberry perfumes, violets, blossom, créme de cassis and Mediterranean herbs. The wine is full bodied, with powerful yet fine tannins and great texture. A fantastic freshness carries through the seamless finish.