Zin and Primitivo

Gran Sasso, Puglia, Primitivo IGT 2005
Tasted in May ’08 this wine was blooming with brett and would repulse most consumers. A bottle tasted later in the summer proved to be a different animal. Oaky and earthy with new world fruit, an appropriate amount of acid to brighten the wine and some tannin. Thus it lacked the disappointing mushiness of many Italian Primitivo. Very Nice and well-priced for value! This wine was the star in a comparison of Italian Primitivo in another recent tasting as well. 13% bottled by an undisclosed coop. or custom crush facility in San Marzano di San Giuseppe in Taranto $8.99 at Traverso’s.

Gamba Russian River Valley Moratto Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel 2005
Sweetness of chocolate, black pepper, berry fruits and a structured frame. Maratto was planted in 1920. P&B in Sonoma 16.5% $32.99 at Bottle Barn Gamba

Wilson Winery Dry Creek Valley Sawyer Vineyard Zinfandel 2005
Tonight’s bottle shows the pepper and tannin again. Just one week ago I recorded these notes: This is definitely jammy with a healthy dose of black pepper. In the mouth the same jammy fruit and black pepper come through in a structured, tannic package. You might remember the big prizes that the Wilson’s have taken home from the Sonoma County Harvest Fair – 2 Sweepstakes Awards for their Zinfandels. Their 04 Tori Vineyard took it at the 06 Harvest Fair and their 03 Sawyer Vineyard took it at the 05 Fair. Sawyer is on benchlands off West Dry Creek Road near Bradford Mountain, Ken and Diane Wilson, GP&B in Healdsburg 15.8% $29.95 at Traverso’s wilsonwinery

Earthquake Lodi Zinfandel 2005
Evolved fruit, stewing a bit as in a compote with rich vanilla and all the flavors of oak – a very soft, silky and oaky mouthful. The Phillips brothers have been making waves with their turbo-charged full-on oaky Petite and Zin from a paradise of old vines. Just a few years back they took a Sweeps with the Petite. V&B in Graton 15.9% $20.99 at Bottle Barn Earthquake

Ridge Pagani Ranch Zinfandel 2005
Tonight this wine shines with ripe berry fruit. It tastes like eating raspberry candy with an acidic frame and some complementary tannin. Solid wine, no flab here! This was one of the first Zins I fell for in big way. It has been a standard for richness from one of the famous field blend vineyards, the Pagani Ranch in the lower part of Sonoma Valley. The wine was aged in US oak and has the added benefit of 2% Petite Sirah, 1% Alicante Bouschet and 1% Mourvedre. P&B in Cupertino 14.2% $29.99 at Bottle Barn Ridge

About RJ

Ray Johnson is the Executive Director of the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University. He writes about food and wine, his travels and the business of wine. He makes his home in Sonoma County, California.
This entry was posted in California, Dry Creek Valley, Lodi, Primitivo, Puglia, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley, Zinfandel. Bookmark the permalink.

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