A Taster's Journey is a newsletter on food, wine and travel. After 15 years of studying, tasting, teaching, and selling wine, I created this newsletter to not only share my passion about wine, but of food and travel as well. Each month I hope to share wines that I am drinking, food that is in season, restaurants that I have enjoyed, and places I have traveled. Enjoy!"

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WINE TASTINGS: Primitivo

September 14th, 2003

Apulia, located on the southeastern tip of Italy (the heel of the boot) is a major wine region producing over 1 billion liters per year. One of the major grapes from this region is Primitivo, with the vineyards concentrated around the town of Manduria. It is thought that Primitivo is a distant relative of the California Zinfindel grape. Both are similar in that they are typically fruity, simplistic wines. Primitivo grapes bake on the vine in the hot sun of southern Italy. This concentrates the fruit into a rather high alcohol wine that is not always tame. The wine however is not complex, and displays an aroma of cherries, blackberries and plums which should be enjoyed young. It is perfect for the summer BBQ, pairing well with hamburgers or other grilled meats. Of the Primitivos tasted, these were the favorites:

Pichierri Terrarossa 2001 ($21)
The hands down winner. A medium bodied, robust wine that exhibited a high concentration of cherries and blackberries. The perfect balance mellows the wine on the palate with a nice long finish.
Cantine dei Trulli 2000 ($16)
A rust colored wine typical of long aging. The wine was not typical, but showed characteristics of a wine that was harvested very late. It displayed layers of prunes and molasses and layers of spice that gave a unique level of complexity.
Rosa del Golfo Salento 2000 ($15)
A rich wine with style. The cherry and plum flavors have softened to produced a balanced wine with
a long smooth finish.

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