Sunday, May 15, 2011
Matane Primitivo Puglia IGT `09 (not TJ's) $12.99 **
Primitivo is an interesting varietal. It is regarded as Zinfandel that is grown in Puglia (really, it is just a close cousin). The Puglia IGT is the heel of the boot, so the climate is Mediterranean. It is said that the historic fore-bearers of this Primitevo was a Croation varietal Crljenak Kaštelanski. Enough of the history lesson, on to the drinking.
This wine is robust, spicy, has a short tannic finish with a bit of an acidic after burn. Primitivo lives up tp its name, it is rustic. I can't help but compare it to Tempanillos that I have liked, this wine is rustic and for the first time in my life, I tasted rosemary herbaceousness. S. noted the vanilla highlight, and we both noted the deep, heavy fruit flavor.
I don't think that I paired it properly. As it is a Friday night, we had Mr. Gennaro's Pizza. I wondered aloud if Primitivo was a better Fall wine than a Spring wine, and JPH countered that it would be a good grilling wine. Then the penny dropped. If you balanced the tannins with a nice juicy steak, the hint of rosemary would compliment the beef, and the the vanilla highlight would add a sweetness to the char of my imaginary steak, well, I think that would be a better pairing.
After aeration with the Nuance. S. beat me to it, and I didn't see her reaction, but when I grabbed the bottle to pour a glass, JPH said "Don't pour a full glass". DO NOT aerate this wine. It makes it bland and slightly sour. The best part of it is the roughness that adds depth of character, aeration just ruins that.