Thursday, March 4, 2010

A-Mano Pinot Grigio delle Venezie, 2008

The promotional material for this wine states: "This wine could only be made in Italy." That may be true, but, like some of the wines now coming out of Spain, this wine has been touched by the New World as well. A-Mano means "by hand," and owners Mark Shannon and Elvezia Sbalchiero are doing their best to produce traditional artisan wine. Shannon is a Canadian who grew up in Los Angeles, learned winemaking at University of California Davis and worked for a time in California at wineries such as Bogle. He's lived in Italy since 1997 where he met his partner, Elvezia, who grew up in Friuli in Northern Italy. They now live in a once-abandoned farmhouse several hundred years old in Puglia in Southern Italy. And they are making a name for A-Mano with wines such as this lovely Pinot Grigio.

A-Mano Pinot Grigio is a light, bright yellow. Aromas are fresh and lovely--ripe pears, tropical fruits, lemon and just a touch of floral sweetness. Drink this wine outside in the Spring, and the bees will dive-bomb your glass. The same qualities are on the palate. The fragrance makes you expect a light wine, but it actually has substantial body for a brisk white wine. The interplay between lightness and body makes for an exciting complexity. I like this wine a lot.

I bought A-Mano Pinot Grigio for $6.99 (marked down from $9.99) at Sawall's Health Foods in Kalamazoo, but I'm sure it's widely available. A-Mano may be better known for its Primitivo (believed to be the grape that is now Zinfandel in California). I'll be trying that one very soon.

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