The classic grape of Puglia, in the heel of southern Italy; Primitivo delivers a big glass of inky black, sunny wine, high in alcohol and tannins and expressing the warmth of the Mediterranean climate. First written about in the 17th Century by Benedictine monks, the name Primitivo is generally regarded to refer to the Primitivo grape’s early ripening qualities, with harvesting taking place at the end of August. It thrives in the hot, sunny climate and you can detect the sunshine in a glass of Primitivo wine.
Due to its robust nature, Primitivo can benefit from spending a couple of years in oak or in the bottle to smooth off any rough edges, but also benefits from being drunk fairly young too, to get the most from its vibrant fruitiness. Primitivo also has the wine’s ability to age gracefully for a decade or more. At one time, Primitivo wine was transported to the northern parts of Italy, such as Tuscany and Piedmont, to beef up the red wines produced in those areas.
In the glass the wine is often deep red with a violet tinge and delivers a glass with cherry, blackberry and raspberry with a hint of spice and cloves. Primitivo can also produce a sweet red wine, and also a fortified wine known as Liquoroso Dolce Natural. The Primitivo di Manduria must be 100% Primitivo, while the two other Primitivo DOCs allow a certain percentage of other grapes to be included in the blend.
Drink with roast meats - especially lamb - wild game and sauces with a bit of spice. It is also well-suited with cheese, especially those flavored with herbs and spices, and pizza. In the USA Primitivo is known as Zinfandel, and has found a natural home in California, where it produces a much different style of wine.
Primitivo Rosso IGT Salento la Casada Puglia Italy
13%, IGT, Puglia / Salento, 2010, and Screw cap closure£7.11 More info