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 70% Sangiovese, 20% Sagrantino, and 10% Malvasia Bianca hand-harvested from 9-11 year-old vines grown in complex sandy soils of sandstone, marl, ancient lake and river sediment, with limestone deposits. The grapes are gently pressed whole-cluster in a very old vertical press. Spontaneous fermentation takes place in stainless steel tank for 2-3 weeks. Élevage lasts 6-8 months on the fine lees and periodic bâttonage takes place. Bottled the following May post-harvest, unfined, unfiltered, with no additional SO2. 14%ABV
Tasting: Because it’s now August and the heat is still fierce, it’s almost required that we include a rosato made to quench your thirst. Dark, pink-orange in the glass and medium-bodied. Fleshy palm fruit, artichoke, Rainier cherry, stony minerals, all ending with some subtle tannins clinging to the palate. Drink this chilled, if not plucked straight from the cooler. Beach wine!!