The Gran Sasso wines are made by winemaker Filippo Baccalaro and display a freshness and directness of fruit that sets them apart from other wines from this area.
Most Montepulciano at this price comes either from negociants buying bulk wines or from co-ops, neither of whom work as well or as closely with their growers as Filippo and his team. The grapes for this wine are grown in 15-20 year old vineyards in the production zones of Ortona, San Salvo and Pollutri.
The grapes were handpicked. On arrival at the winery, only 10% of grapes were put in fermentation tanks with their stems – all others were destemmed before fermentation and skin contact that lasted for 15 days. Continuous racking and punch-downs took place in stainless steel and concrete tanks at a controlled temperature of 28°C. Malolactic fermentation took place in 80% stainless steel tanks and 20% oak barrels.
Made in an early-drinking style, this wine is ruby red with violet highlights. Cherry, sour cherry and blackberry aromas are supported with an intense balsamic note. The palate is full bodied with good, supple tannins supporting the juicy fruit. Well-balanced with good structure and a long finish.
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. They pay high prices for the best grapes from 70-100 year old vines and focus solely on quality and a modern style. After over a decade of vintages, they are now getting access to some of Salento’s best grapes.
The Negroamaro grapes for this wine are grown in an 11 hectare vineyard, in the heart of Salice Salentino. An old vineyard, it is dry farmed and 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 closure.
Deep ruby in the glass. Aromas begin with crushed berries, black cherries and spices followed by a light floral note. The exuberant palate is full and rich with lingering spice on the finish.
The vineyards are located at Sommacampagna, a commune situated to the south-east of Lake Garda.
65% Corvina, 30% Rondinella and 5% Sangiovese.
Gentle crushing and destemming, and a brief cold maceration of the grapes prior to fermentation. This is followed by a long, delicate fermentation (with skin contact) in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks.
Brilliant ruby red in appearance, the nose is delicately fruity and fragrant, with notes of cherries, strawberries, raspberries and redcurrants as well as hints of spices – cinnamon, cloves, black pepper. The palate is dry and rounded, with crunchy red fruits lightly spicy, with a well-balanced, fresh and easy-drinking style.
Monte del Frà is located in the village of Custoza in the hills to the east of Lake Garda, only 15km from Verona. Founded in 1958 the winery owns over 140 hectares of vineyards.
80% Corvina veronese e Corvinone, 20% Rondinella.
Lena di Mezzo is an entirely terraced estate of 17.8 hectares that lies in the heart of Fumane, a splendid hilly zone with tufaceous, clay and limestone soils. The vineyard is 250 – 400 metres above sea level.
Gentle crushing and destemming, followed by temperature-controlled fermentation in stainless steel vats with daily punching down of the cap of skins into the must so as to allow for the delicate extraction of colour and tannins.
Bright ruby red in the glass, the nose is of cherries and spice. Ripe and juicy palate with red fruits and hints of pepper – extremely elegant and well balanced.
In 1987 a group of Swiss friends, who had been holidaying near Montepulciano for years and who loved the local wine, decided to buy a wine estate in the region. They were so fond of the wines from Cannetto that they bought the property. They took on an Italian partner, the agronomist Ottorino de Angelis who has been in charge of the day-to-day management of the estate.
The estate has 48 hectares (26 hectares are under vine) in one plot, below the winery. The soil is heavy, pebbly marl, at an altitude between 350 and 400m. The aspect is southwest, and the vines are planted horizontally to the slopes, not vertically. They will be certified organic from the 2018 vintage.
The Rosso di Montepulcianois 80% Sangiovese and 20% Merlot. The grapes are destemmed, soft-pressed and then fermented in stainless steel. The wine is aged for six months in steel, and then for a further three months in bottle.
Bright ruby red in appearance, the nose is full of red fruit aromas and a touch of spice. The palate is fresh and elegant with masses of ripe fruit. The Merlot in the blend adds a bit of weight and softens the Sangiovese that can be slightly aggressive when young. Delicious, easy drinking red.
100% Glera grape (aka Prosecco) from the province of Treviso.
Made using the charmat or tank method – a quicker process than the méthode traditionelle to enhance the light, fresh nature of the wine. The first fermentation takes place in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats. Afterwards additional unfermented juice and yeasts are added to set off the second fermentation to give the wine the sparkle. The wine is then filtered and bottled under pressure.
Pale straw in appearance with green hints and a fine mousse the nose is fresh and zesty with apple and citrus aromas. The palate is dry with elegant fruit and good balancing acidity.
The Pavia brothers are great exponents of the Barbera grape.
“Blina” is 100% Barbera from low yielding vines .
The manual harvest took place at the end of September followed by maceration and temperature controlled fermentation in steel. This was followed by a further 12 months ageing in steel prior to bottling.
Bright ruby red in appearance with marked purple highlights. The bouquet is intense, full and rich with scents of plum, raspberry and spice. The palate is well-strctured and smooth, with an elegant silky texture that makes the wine fresh and very approachable. Well-balanced acidity and tannins are followed by a long finish characterised by flavours of spices and red fruit.
Michele Reverdito set up the family estate in La Mora in 2000 and currently has 40 ha of which 20 ha are under vines.
100% Dolcetto from 20 year old vines grown on a south westerly exposure.
Deep ruby red in colour, the nose is ripe and fruity with notes of ripe cherries, plums and raspberries. The palate is rich with fruity notes ending in a finish that is velvety and very slightly bitter.
The Tommasi family have been making wine since 1902 and today the 4th generation are in charge.
From grandfather Giacomo’s tiny vineyard, the Tommasi estate has grown steadily over the course of years and today owns vineyards and estates in several different Italian regions.
Their Lugana is from the “Le Fornaci” vineyard in the San Martino estate just to the south of Lake Garda.
Made from 100% Trebbiano di Lugana, the wine is fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel vats followed by 5 months ageing also in steel.
Pale straw in colour, the nose is clea, fresh and spicy, highlighted by delicious hints of tropical fruit. The palate is medium-bodied, dry and elegant with a long, clean, crisp finish. A perfect aperitif or ideal with simple seafood.
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