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Ognissole Primitivo di Manduria 2003

Primitivo from Italy
    0% ABV
    • WE88
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    0% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Big, clean and jammy, but a serious freshness to this red. Medium- to full-bodied, with bright tannins and a crisp finish. It's delicious! Like a very good CA Zin. A great wine from the folks at Feudi di San Gregorio in Campania, but from Puglia.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Ognissole

    Ognissole

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    Ognissole, Italy
    The 125-acre Ognissole estate, near the town of Fragagnano in Apulia’s Manduria region, was established in 2000 by the founders of Feudi di San Gregorio. Over the past 20 years or more, Feudi di San Gregorio, in southern Italy’s Campania region, has played a leading role in fostering a winemaking revolution that extends across southern Italy, and has led to a remarkable resurgence of regional wine industries.

    Along with the guidance of renowned consulting enologist Riccardo Cotarella, arguably Italy’s foremost winemaker, the Ognissole range taps into the enormous potential of local, ancient varieties in an effort to bring prestige and recognition to these treasures of the south. Until recently, grapes such as Primitivo di Manduria and Verdeca – cultivated from antiquity – faced the risk of obscurity due to the homogenization of the international wine market. In a trend that marks a radical departure from the past, Ognissole seeks to revitalize this ancient area, bringing Apulia to the forefront among world-class wine regions.

    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.

    SOU116971_2003 Item# 87185