Winemaker Filippo Baccalaro, a native of Piemonte, has been working in Puglia for almost two decades. He was attracted by the rich, ripe flavours of the fruit, and the ability to capture these flavours with minimal use of technology and a lot of know-how. Filippo has the latter, as is illustrated by these wines.
The vineyards are mostly situated in the communes of Manduria and Sava and are owned by growers with whom Filippo has been working for many years. Production is lower than its potential, which ensures the best quality grapes are selected. 80% of the grapes come from old bush vines and the rest from trained vines that are at least 20 years old.
The grapes were gently pressed and cooled to 10ºC for a maceration period of 10-12 days with regular pumping over. Yeasts were added to start fermentation, which took place under temperature controlled conditions of up to 20ºC. The wine was then transferred to oak barriques for a short time for fining, before bottling.
Deep ruby red colour with violet reflections. This wine has red berry fruit perfumes with a hint of spice. Full-bodied with firm tannins, this wine is well balanced with lots of ripe fruit flavours.
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.
Established in 1875 by Vito Curatolo Arini, the winery is now run by the fifth generation of Curatolos, making it the oldest family-owned Marsala producing business.
Their stunning label was designed by Ernesto Basile, a famous architect in Palermo in the latter part of the 19th century and is very much in the art deco style.
Temperature controlled slow fermentation at 20-25°C. The base wine is 12% in alcohol and has a minimum residual sugar level of 20 grams per litre. Alcohol, mistella (fresh grape must with added alcohol) and mosto cotto (concentrated fresh grape must which is traditionally “cooked” until it reduces to a third of its initial volume) are then added to the base wine, giving it a final alcohol content of 18%, the desired sugar level and the traditional flavour. The wine is then aged for over five years (minimum two years by law) in 150 hectolitre Slovenian oak casks.
Dark amber in colour, with aromas of dried figs, sultanas and caramel. This wine is round and soft on the palate with fresh notes of dried fruit, nuts and honeysuckle with a pleasant, sweet and clean finish.
The vineyards are located in the Irpinian hills of Campania, potentially one of Italy’s most exciting wine producing areas. Despite being so far south, there are large differences here between day and night temperatures, making this one of the latest regions in Italy to harvest.
The vineyards are situated 450-550 metres above sea level, and are always subject to a cool breeze that blows off the Bay of Naples. This same breeze has, over the centuries, blown volcanic ash from Vesuvius inland to give the soil here a poor, volcanic character. Indeed, the name Vesevo is the old name for Vesuvius.
100% Greco. The flavours obtained in the vineyard look to be preserved in the winery. The must is chilled immediately and fermented at 13-14°C rather than the higher fermentation temperatures (18-20°C) prevalent in Italy. The wine remains in stainless steel tank until bottling, sees no oak and does not undergo malolactic fermentation. This results in much purer flavours being captured in the wine.
Lemon-gold in colour with an intense, aromatic perfume of ripe pears with a honeyed, almond note. On the palate, this wine has stone fruit flavours of yellow peaches, a crisp, mineral character, a mouth-filling body and good length on the finish.
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