Learn about Primitivo — taste profile, popular regions and more …
Responsible for inky, brambly, and ripe fruit driven red wines, Primitivo bears more than a passing resemblance to Zinfandel—and there’s a very good reason for this. The two varieties are actually one and the same and have a Croatian origin. Primitivo was brought to Italy from Croatia in the late 1800s and became an important variety in the hot, dry, southern region of Puglia. Here it was named from the Latin word, primativus, meaning "first to ripen."
Tasting Notes for Primitivo
Primitivo is a dry, red wine. The flavors of Primitivo are, naturally, very similar to those of Zinfandel, but often it is somewhat leaner, and more structured and earthy. Typical characteristics include ripe berry fruit, plum, black pepper, fresh earth and sweet baking spice.
Perfect Food Pairings for Primitivo
Primitivo pairs best with full-flavored, hearty meat dishes like roasted lamb, beef brisket, hamburgers, meatballs with Moroccan seasonings, beef fajitas or anything barbecued.
Sommelier Secrets for Primitivo
The link between Primitivo and Zinfandel is quite a recent discovery. While there was some speculation that they were related, it wasn't until 1994 when grape geneticists at UC Davis identified them as identical. The grape goes by the name of Tribidrag in Croatia and is a parent of the modern Croatian variety, Plavac Mali.
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Castello Monaci Artas Primitivo 2013Primitivo from Puglia, Italy
Hendry Block 24 Primitivo 2014Primitivo from Napa Valley, California
Castello Monaci Piluna Primitivo 2008Primitivo from Italy
Varvaglione Vigne & Vini srl Primitivo di Manduria Papale Linea Oro 2016Primitivo from Puglia, Italy
Layer Cake Primitivo aka Zinfandel 2008Primitivo from Italy
A. Mano Puglia Primitivo 2006Primitivo from Italy
Castello Monaci Piluna Primitivo 2006Primitivo from Italy
Castello Monaci Artas Primitivo 2016Primitivo from Puglia, Italy
Leone de Castris Primitivo di Manduria Villa Santera 2009Primitivo from Italy
Collier Falls Hillside Estate Primitivo 2014Primitivo from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
A. Mano Puglia Primitivo 2001Primitivo from Italy