Californian Zinfandel is one and the same grape as Primitivo from Puglia in Italy. Both make rich, fruit-packed, powerful wines which warm the soul in the cold of winter. But it takes a talented winemaker and/or extremely old vines to coax the best out of these grapes which are so often mass-produced, overly alcoholic and uninspiring.
Pasquale Petrera of Fatalone in the high altitude Gioia del Colle subzone of Puglia is widely recognised as making Italy’s finest Primitivos. He works 100% organically and even plays classical music to his wines as they mature in old acacia oak casks over 6-12 months!
Morgan Twain-Peterson of Bedrock Winery in Sonoma, California only makes Zinfandel from very old vines, as with age yields reduce causing Zinfandel’s fruit concentration, density, balance and freshness to reach its apogee.
These 3 reds are fantastic examples of this grape:
Fatalone Primitivo 2015, Gioia Del Colle, Puglia reduced from CHF19.90 to 16.90/bt
This is Primitivo as you rarely taste it – unspoilt by residual sugar, pure in fruit and fresh! Made 100% organically with no added Sulphites and no fining or filtration in order to retain the maximum flavours of this wonderful grape and terroir. Read more here.
Bedrock Winery “The whole Shebang” Cuvée XI, California, reduced from CHF19.90 to CHF16.90/bt
Made from vines averaging 50 years of age this Zinfandel-dominated blend is probably the best value Californian red I have tasted! Recently rated 17/20 points by Jancis Robinson MW. Read more here.
Bedrock winery Old Vine Zinfandel 2016, Sonoma, California reduced from CHF35 to 29.70/bt
Profound, fresh, vibrant raspberry-fruited Zinfandel from vines over 110 years old. Recently rated 17/20 points by Jancis Robinson MW.