This is a 2012 from Puglia, in southeastern Italy. DNA tests show that Primitivo is identical to Zinfandel, but some growers – notably Tony Coturri – maintain that they have different phenotypic expression. We’re still trying to piece out the story of how this grape got to Italy; the best we can tell right now is that it was brought from Croatia to California sometime in the mid-1800s, and then was brought back to the Old World by Italian immigrants to the US who decided to pack it in and head back home.
This is the stablemate of the Salice Salentino and Aglianico that I’ve tasted from Epicuro in the last few weeks. I’m drinking this with pan-seared steak and mushrooms.
Color: a nice purple-red; a little lighter in color than typical for a California Zin.
Aroma: berry fruit, with some licorice and black pepper. Nice.
Taste: jammy, but not too heavy – blackberry, raspberry, and cherry fruit, with some dusty pepper notes toward the finish. Good balance, well-suited for food. A little hint of cocoa on the finish as well, with sufficient acidity throughout to stand up to tomato sauce.
A nice choice for Italian or hearty American cuisine. Winner!