Full Body, Fruity (Primitivo). IGP. 14.5% Alc.
98/99 points Luca Maroni.
Bold red, perfect for a rich dish. Expect notes of dried fruit and dried flowers, with subtle notes of pastry or pie crust. Smooth tannins.
Tator grapes come from old vines and are hand-picked. “Metodo Passule” as shown on the label means the wine was produced using an Appassimento method (leaving fully-ripened grapes to dry on the vine so the water evaporates, increasing sugar content and acidity, concentrating flavours). This wine is aged in French oak at a controlled temperature over a period of 20 - 30 days. “The hands on the label are there to thank all the people who still pick by hand in our vineyard. The name Tator is the name of a god venerated by the Messapians, a tribe who long ago lived in the area where we now grow the Primitivo vines used to produce this wine.”
The Primitivo grape of Apulia - popularised in California as Zinfandel - traces its lineage back to the ancient Phoenicians who settled this part of the peninsula. This smooth, low tannin wine is now enjoying long overdue praise for its juicy and well-structured character - ideal for Asian cuisines.
GEEK OUT ON GRAPES:
The Primitivo grape is planted along the 'heel' of Italy' - the Apulia region - and its name derives from its tendency to ripen earlier than other grapes.
Its origins are interesting: It was an early grape for winemaking in Croatia (where it's known as Crljenak Kastelanski or Tribidrag) at least as far back as the 15th century. In the 18th century a clone was taken to southern Italy, where it became a popular rustic table wine. In the late 1960s this vigorous vine travelled to the US, where it became known as Zinfandel and thrived in the heat of California. In fact, grape geneticist Carole Meredith, who studied the variety in great detail, refers to it as ZPC - Zinfandel / Primitivo / Crljenak Kastelanski.
Primitivo is not as challenging a vine as others, like Pinot Nero, but it does tend to ripen unevenly - meaning patches of fruit within one bunch can be close to raisins while others are under ripe. Some winemakers separate the bunches (or even individual grapes) which can add to the cost of production and increase wine pricing, while others prefer to experiment and create wine from fruit with mixed levels of ripeness.
Primitivo vines produce fruit with a high sugar content, which tends to result in wines with high levels of alcohol. Cooler climates can produce Primitivo wines with red berry aromas or flavours, but the Primitivos of southern Italy tend to hint at blackberry and liquorice plus some peppery notes.
Serve this punchy wine with rich tomato dishes, such as lasagne. Try it with a steak alongside a slightly sweet sauce or relish, or with barbeque food like sticky chicken wings. It also pairs well with spicy sweet dishes, such as coconut-based curries and also Moroccan style lamb.
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