Lonesome Springs Vineyards, Columbia Valley, WA
Primitivo is so closely associated to Zinfandel that in most respects it is referred to as a clone of Zinfandel rather than a distinct varietal. DNA fingerprinting revealed that most American Zinfandel is genetically equivalent to the Croatian grape Crljenak Kaštelanski, and also the Primitivo variety traditionally grown in Puglia (the "heel" of Italy). Primitivo (Primero, 1st,) refers to particular Zinfandel vines that ripen earlier than other clones of Zinfandel and are less susceptible to infection and rot. In a cool vintage such as 2010 these earlier ripening Zinfandel clones fared much better and developed the classic flavors we normally associate with Zinfandel; deep cherry, cassis and a hint of black pepper and clove spiciness. This is one of our lighter bodied reds right now so it should fall just after Pinot Noir and before Cuvee in tasting and weight order.
Tasting Notes: Bright ruby in color, this wine has pronounced fruit aromas of ripe red cherries and plums as well as hints of white pepper. Fruit carries over to the palate along with cherry cola and strawberries. Smooth tannins and nice acidity make it a great wine to pair with rich meat dishes, such as lamb and beef stews.