Price: $3.99 @ Trader Joe’s imported by Latitude Wines
What They Said:
Per Trader Joe’s “Grifone Primitivo comes to us from Italy, Zinfandel’s ancestral home. Grapes from vineyards in the Manduria region (geographically, in the boot’s heel) are handpicked at their peak and crafted into a deep, inky red wine with concentrated aromas of red berries and licorice. Not quite as spicy as American Zinfandels, this Primitivo is full-bodied, warm & fruity, with strong, lingering tannins. It’s a wine that’s meant to be enjoyed now”
What I Think:
(13%) 100% Primitivo – Ruby red in the glass with a light strawberry/raspberry, floral nose. On the palate this one is fruit forward with more of those tart red berry fruits. This one turns a tad creamy before an acidic streak kicks in delivering loads of spice on a (slightly hot) tangy, tannic finish. While this one has nice forward fruit it is a bit rough and rustic around the edges which I like. For $4 this is an enjoyable wine I am likely to be buying again (but steer clear of the Toscana…)
Rating: Buy It
Interested in reading more about the Grifone Primitivo?
- My friends over at Beards & Bellies describe this as “Not an overwhelming wine, but a great and enjoyable everyday drink to go with dinner, although it is more than fine on its own.”
- The folks over at Cheap Wine Finder call this one a “very complete wine for $3.99.”
Price: $24.00 @ Sobon Estates
What They Said:
Per the bottle “Big, rich ad full bodied; with toasty, jammy aromas and forward fruity flavors. Genetically related to Zinfandel, but strikingly different in balance and intensity.”
What I Think:
This is a wine that twitter made me crave, too bad their search doesn’t work or I would show you why. Fresh off the Rocky Top Zinfandel I loved I had to get this one. In a rare episode where it seems I am living the dream Sobon Wines offered to send a bottle my way, lucky me! My experience with Primitivo from Italy (from where it hails) does not run all that deep but this is only the 2nd I’ve tried stateside (the other is Perry Creek but I didn’t record any tasting notes, shame on me!). Anyhow let’s get to it…
With pizza in the oven this was an easy choice. If a bottle were to be judged solely on its weight this one would be liquid gold as it is super heavy. On opening the nose was smoky, hot and dusty and the palate was heavy on oak, a bit surprisingly given it was aged in 1 to 2 year old oak. This all blew off with some time and became toasty with a nose of cooked/stewed plums showing a small hint of green. Once it cleared the palate showed nicely balanced fruit and hearty acid, the combo hardly indicate the high alcohol content (15.3%). The end shows tart fruit, white pepper and tamed tannins leading to a finish of great tangy notes that last and last. This last paragraph is really my best guess. This wine is hard to figure out and keeps you guessing. A challenge for sure, but one that I look forward to taking again, just be sure to give this one some time to open up. Next time I want to taste this one side by side with an Italian bottling to better assess the different styles between the continents. Kudos to Sobon for not only working with Primitivo but Sangiovese and Barbera amongst many other uncommon varietals here in the states.
By the way, have I mentioned everyone should be visiting Amador County? For the record, I haven’t yet. They are bottling a ton of unique grapes that few other work with here in California. Those that read often are tiring of hearing me say this so here is my promise to you, before the end of August I will make a visit to Amador County happen. You heard it here first! Stay tuned…