Highlight: Manuel Pulcini Marròca 2018

Young winemaker Manuel Pulcini grew up in his family’s vineyards and winery on the outskirts of Rome, which imprinted into him a passion for the lands. After oenology school in Pisa, he turned his focus to biodynamic winemaking, and began renting and restoring abandoned vineyards. He now is caretaker of approximately 2.5 hectares of vineyards, primarily around San Macario a Monte in the province of Lucca. His goal is simple: to make minimal-intervention, honest wines to celebrate the ancient viticultural traditions of this region. This rising naturalist producer has won the respect of the local elders, earning him the nickname of ‘amico dei nonni,’ or friend of the grandpas. Manuel sees himself as a generational link, thankfully for our future. This blend of Trebbiano, Malvasia, Vermentino, and others is as mesmerizing as its singular blue label of Marròca, an aloof but dangerous mythological being who lurked in wells, and was rumoured to snatch children who came too close. Stunning and striking, with wild lemon, grapefruit pith, hay, pine nut, wild herbs shimmering along the vibrant palate, with streaking acidity and a lengthy, mineral salted finish. There’s a subtle grip to the sides, hemming in the slight 12% frame. Lovely fine balance in this harmonious, characterful, moreish wine. 92/100

Treve Ring

Treve Ring is a wine writer and editor, judge and speaker, and perpetual traveller. [She is also Correspondent Anorak.]