“This iconic Primitivo from winemaker Gianfranco Fino delivers in its dense aromas of spiced cranberry, blackberry, violets and tilled earth. There’s weight and intensity to the palate in all aspects, from the punchy, juicy berry and dark plum flavors to the racing acidity and bracing tannins. Time in the cellar to soften the sharp edges will reward with the already developing complexities.”
“Rich and sappy, offering juicy flavors of blackberry and boysenberry coulis, dried thyme, star anise and mandarin orange peel. This is medium-to-full-bodied and tightly knit, with sleek, sculpted tannins firming the creamy finish.”
“The Gianfranco Fino 2013 Primitivo di Manduria Riserva ES is stratospheric in its opulence and its intensity. It's hard to wrap one's head around a wine of this exaggerated exuberance, but I must warn readers: this wine is not for everyone (nor is it for the faint of heart). The explosive bouquet presents deep layers of prune, midnight black fruit and inky berry nuances. The mouthfeel is thick and richly extracted with jammy layers that are fueled by the evident residual sugar. Consider this: the alcohol is reported at a whopping 17.5%, but you'd hardly know it because it is so well padded by the thickness of the surrounding fruit. A dark layer of sediment appears at the bottom of your glass. If you could make wine out of marmalade, it would come out something like this. It's not an everyday drinking choice, but it is exceptional in terms of its uniqueness and hard-core personality. Yes, this is a controversial bottle, but it is absolutely unforgettable.”
Here's a great red wine to pair with juicy burgers or succulent pork chops. The 2015 Primitivo di Manduria Villa Santera shows its own level of ripeness and tenderness to pair with those meats. It offers great value and presents the soft and seductive side of Primitivo. The alcohol is a bit high but it is successfully folded into the rich plushness and sweetness of the fruit. Black cherry and robust blackberry are backed by allspice and crushed clove. There is a point of astringency on the close that gives the wine enough structure to partner with grilled meat dishes.
“Bruno Vespa's 2013 Primitivo Il Rosso dei Vespa represents a solid first effort. This is a powerful wine with 15.5% alcohol that definitely leaves its mark. That considerable caliber of intensity continues to the bouquet where the wine presents an aromatic medley of cherry liqueur, dried blackberry, rum cake, licorice and cola. Soft tannins are wrapped within the dark fleshiness of the wine. A touch of chewy sweetness is also characteristic of Primitivo. The wine shows good balance, although that high alcohol does stick out.”