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.
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 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.
Copyright 2014 | Richard Granger Fine Wine Merchants