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 Negroamaro grapes for this wine are grown in a single vineyard covering 11 hectares in the heart of Salice Salentino. An old vineyard, it is dry farmed, and the vines are trained on trellises to prevent the sensitive grapes suffering from sunburn.
On arrival at the cellars, the grapes were pressed, destemmed and cooled to 18°C, and the must was allowed to ferment at its own pace. After racking in mid-November, the wine remained in an underground cement tank where the temperature did not exceed 10°C until bottling under Stelvin.
This wine is deep ruby red in colour. The nose opens with crushed black berries and spices followed by a light floral note. Full and rich, this wine is also sleek and elegant, with lingering spice on the palate.