2013 Salento Primitivo
$15 per bottle | $162 per case
At first glance it would be easy to look past Soleto’s Primitivo as just another everyday Pugliese take on Zinfandel (of which Primitivo is a clone). A closer look at this inconspicuous producer, though, reveals some impressive ancestry: The winemaker is Mario Ercolino, scion of the Ercolino family who founded Campania’s famed Feudi di San Gregorio. Wanting to get back to making more traditional Italian wines, Mario left the family winery some years back, taking their best vineyards with him, just to give you an idea of the quality of fruit and skill going into this bottle. So, obviously, everyday Puglia plonk this isn’t. It does share Zinfandel’s crush of warm, spiced blackberry, pepper, and anise, but refracted through a gutsier yet more refined Italian lens. Its lush texture poses little challenge to those just looking for something fun to swig with pizza, but is also an optimal way to showcase the subtle smoke, pipe tobacco, and roasted meat for those inclined to get a little deeper. In the end, this is an impressive and foolproof bottle for fall dining, whether it be alongside the last backyard barbecues of the year or accompanying homey roast pork and root vegetables.
- Ryan Stotz, Assistant Store Manager, H&F Bottle Shop