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 70-100 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 grapes are grown in vineyards located in the Salento peninsula of Puglia. A rare and ancient red Puglian variety, Susumaniello 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.
2014 was a challenging vintage in Puglia, as with the rest of the country. Constant and unusual summer rains required hard work and flexibility in the vineyards. The grapes that ripened were invariably in the sandier soils with better drainage, and in the hands of totally committed growers. The Susumaniello was harvested on the 23rd of September 2014.
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, crème 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.
Liberty Wines customers can order this wine directly from us.