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Leone de Castris Primitivo di Manduria Villa Santera 2009

Primitivo from Italy
  • RP90
15.2% ABV
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15.2% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Primitivo di Manduria Villa Santera is rich purple in color. The bouquet is rich in cherry, spiced tobacco and toasted notes. It is a full-bodied wine, warm and soft on the palate with flavors that continue to evolve.

Perfect to accompany roasted meats, savory first courses and aged cheeses.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Primitivo di Manduria Villa Santera is a joyous red bursting with varietal character. Dark fruit, licorice, clovers and flowers emerge with lovely inner sweetness, adding complexity to the dense, expressive fruit. This is another winner from Leone de Castris.
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Leone de Castris

Leone de Castris

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Leone de Castris, Italy
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Salice Salentino, a small village in Salento rich in vineyards and olive groves, is the home of the Leone de Castris’ vineyards. In 1665 Duke Oronzo, Earl of Lemos, gave birth to the company. Enchanted by this landscape, he sold all his properties in Spain in order to draw the best from the Salentine rich terroir.

1943 marks the birth of Five Roses and the improvement of the bottling line that has seen our rosé being the first ever bottled in Italy and sold first of all in USA. The name "Five Roses" derives from a "contrad" belonging to the family, so called since for several generations each de Castris had 5 children.

In the '60s, the direction of the company was handled by Cavaliere del Lavoro, Salvatore Leone de Castris and thanks to him the company had an important development, both locally and internationally. His know-how, of continuous improvement, is now carried on by his son Piernicola Leone de Castris, managing director since late '90s.

The winery’s production is very rich: red, white and rosé Doc wines (Salice Salentino, Locorotondo, Copertino, Primitivo di Manduria), interesting Igt Salento and Puglia wines, sparkling rosé and white wines; a distillate and an extra-virgin olive oil of fine value.

Named “Oenotria” by the ancient Greeks for its abundance of grapevines, Italy has always had a culture that is virtually inextricable from wine. Wine grapes are grown just about everywhere throughout the country—a long and narrow boot-shaped peninsula extending into the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas. The defining geographical feature of the country is the Apennine Mountain range, extending from Liguria in the north to Calabria in the south. The island of Sicily nearly grazes the toe of Italy’s boot, while Sardinia lies to the country’s west. Climate varies significantly throughout the country, with temperature being somewhat more dependent on elevation than latitude, though it is safe to generalize that the south is warmer. Much of the highest quality viticulture takes place on gently rolling, picturesque hillsides.

Italy boasts more indigenous varieties than any other country—between 500 and 800, depending on whom you ask—and most wine production relies upon these native grapes. In some regions, international varieties have worked their way in, but their use is declining in popularity, especially as younger growers begun to take interest in rediscovering forgotten local specialties. Sangiovese is the most widely planted variety in the country, reaching its greatest potential in parts of Tuscany. Nebbiolo is the prized grape of Piedmont in the northwest, producing singular, complex and age-worthy wines. Other important varieties include Montepulciano, Trebbiano, Barbera, Nero d’Avola, and of course, Pinot Grigio.

Primitivo

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Responsible for inky, brambly, and ripe-fruited wines, Primitivo bears more than a passing resemblance to Zinfandel—and there’s a very good reason for this. Depending on whom you ask, the two varieties are either one and the same, or extremely similar clones of a third variety—the Croatian Tribidrag. Primitivo was brought to Italy from Croatia in the late 1800s and became an important variety in the hot, dry region of Puglia in the country’s south. Primitivo is sometimes labeled as Zinfandel for export.

In the Glass

The flavors of Primitivo are, naturally, very similar to those of Zinfandel, but often it is somewhat earthier, leaner, and more structured, with lower alcohol. Typical characteristics include ripe berry fruit, plum, black pepper, fresh earth, and sweet baking spice.

Perfect Pairings

Primitivo pairs best with full-flavored, hearty meat dishes like roasted lamb, beef brisket, hamburgers, or anything barbecued. Alcohol levels tend to be lower than those of Zinfandel, which means it can pair with slightly spicy cuisine like Indian curries, meatballs with Moroccan seasonings, or beef fajitas.

Sommelier Secret

The link between Primitivo and Zinfandel is quite a recent discovery. The two were believed to be siblings until 2001, when grape geneticists at UC Davis identified them as identical. While European producers are allowed to use the two names interchangeably, the US does not yet permit this.

YNG301229_2009 Item# 120055