The search for the heart of Umbrian Sangiovese will naturally fan out and dilate, that is, complicate, because the estates making the best of this underrated region’s most famously rated wine, are the ones involved in pluralistic, many-faced viticulture. Mani di Luna is a leading example. This polycultural Azienda in the Umbrian town Torgiano was founded by Rocco, Simone, and Alessandro, a communion of friends. Alessandro and Rocco go way back apparently to earlier days when they were in a band together; Rocco met Simone while studying agronomy in Perugia. Their 35 hectare farm is composed of cherry orchards, olive groves, vineyards and the like, grown on deep sandy soils where the topography is varied and awe-inspiring. Two ancient rivers – the Tiber and Chiascio – converge not far from the farm, forming the dales and sweetly rolling hills around Torgiano. Certified biodynamic since 2012, Mani di Luna (tr.: either ‘Moon Hands’ or ‘Hands to The Moon’) cultivate some of the silkiest and most lively Umbrian wines around.
Vinification: A blend of 85% Trebbiano Toscano (aka Procanico) and various strains of Malvasia, hand-harvested from 45-50 year-old vines, grown in the complex sandy soils of sandstone, marl, and ancient lake and river sediment with limestone deposits. The grapes are gently pressed whole-cluster in an old vertical press. Spontaneous fermentation takes place in small stainless steel tank for 2-3 weeks. Élevage lasts 6-7 months on the fine lees with periodic bâttonage. Bottled the following May post-harvest unfined, unfiltered, with no additional SO2. The wines shook off bottle shock by sitting in the cellar for 3 months prior to sale. 12.5%ABV
Tasting: Like it’s sister rosato, this Trebbiano/Malvasia blend is perfect for all occasions. With food, or without, it’s a summer companion that will please a crowd and make you wish you had more. Dazzlingly pale yellow in the glass, light bodied yet slightly viscous. Full of orchard fruit and apricot, with a bit of peppery spice and rocky minerality. Serve chilled.