Passitivo Primitivo Puglia, 2010 $13.98
Retail Price: $16.98, Discount: 20%
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This wine drinks well now! The oak aging of this grape provides a pleasant roasted and spicy aroma very Southern Italian in nature. You would almost say a taste of figs and raisins emerge, with a touch of vanilla.
This 2010 Passitivo Primitivo from Puglia shows intense ruby-red color, with a complex bouquet, reminiscent of cherries, raspberries and red currants. It is full-bodied, supple and well balanced, with a persistent savory finish on the palate.
Pairing Suggestions: Perfect with roast red meats, mature cheeses, and hearty pasta dishes.
The Primitivo grape is selected from low-yielding vineyards near Sava and Salento in southern Puglia. The traditional Alberello Basso vine training method is employed where the grapes are picked by hand in late August. When the grapes have reached perfect maturity, the stems are twisted so that no further nourishment reaches the grape producing a natural drying on the vine. The grapes are left for approximately 12 days on the vine, losing about 25-30% of their weight in water, allowing the flavors to become concentrated before harvest. This, along with the very hot summers in Puglia, result in elevated alcohol content.
After the grapes are picked from the stem, they are left intact, not crushed, to reduce damage to the skins and bring forth their full color. Fermentation occurs at 28-30°C for 8-10 days. During fermentation, the wine is pumped in the tank to fully aerate it, and then goes through a special lightening process to separate the juice and grape solids. This produces a softer, less astringent wine with fuller fruit aromas. Malolactic bacteria are added after racking to induce malolactic fermentation. About 25% of the wine is aged for 12 months in French and American barrels.
The Primitivo grape is produced at a small winery in Apulia called Paolo Leo. It is grown on an estate managed by Luca Pomaro, Alessandro Michelon, and Paolo Leo. In addition to creating and owning Orion Wines, these men work as a team developing the Paolo Leo and Triade Puglian wine brands. Paolo Leo’s history in wine making encompasses five generations of love and passion. As a fifth generation adult in the 1980’s, he wanted to follow his father and great grandfather’s footsteps and build a state-of-the-art winery. Today, it has a total capacity of 50.000 hectoliters, a new and fully automated bottling line, and over 500 French and American oak barrels. His philosophy: To be in perfect harmony with nature, intervening only when absolutely necessary, to ensure each grape expresses its natural and unique personality.