Posted on April 20th, 2011
Colly Murray from Retrovino is another one of those young guns bucking the trend and setting up a wine importing company in the midst of turbulent times. His focus is largely on quality Italians (a place where Liberty wines started, no?) and I’m sure Colly will have no problem with comparisons.
This one is from a producer called Leone de Castris, a pretty big producer down in the heel of Italy. “Primitivo di Manduria” is the DOC, Primitivo being the grape. Primitivo is, of course, as many wine folk like to point out the same as Zinfandel and another one from Croatia.
It gets a bit of a bad wrap, sometimes, Wikipedia obviously hasn’t enjoyed too many good ones, referring to it as a heavy, blunt red wine. Hey, but what would an encyclopaedia know?
Is it better than Wikipedia says?
The Leone de Castris “Villa Santera” Primitivo di Manduria is anything but blunt. It’s a bit of a savage alright, but in the best possible way. The savage becomes a lot tamer after generous hours of decanting (6-8, I’d recommend). It then starts to reveal its treasures.
Dark, almost impenetrable black colour with a lovely nose of dark fruits, plum, cherry and sweet liquorice. Nice bit of vanilla in there too. Yes, it’s quite a big wine, big full bodied, but by no means a brute.
After being open for about 24 hours, it got better still with a lovely silky texture mellowing out the wine. If you can’t or won’t decant it for a 6-8 hours, then pair it with barbecued beef. Ideal.