Top 10 Primitivo Wines from Puglia

I spent the last year and a half in Puglia---a land that I truly love---trying to find the ultimate Primitivo wine. Did I find it? Yes and no.

The best Primitivo---the ultimate Primitivo---is as time-sensitive as the best iPhone: Every year it changes; it advances; it ages; it re-invents itself. But unlike the iPhone, Primitivo wines will never be obsolete. These days are particularly transitory for Primitivo because Puglia is a rapidly emerging wine-producing region, where winemakers are still testing out newly acquired technology (as well as their international attention). But I like what I'm seeing.

I wouldn't call any of the wines below the "ultimate" or the "best" Primitivo. I'm still looking toward the horizon.

I've tasted hundreds of Primitivo wines made in Puglia as well as many wines made using Primitivo grapes grown in Puglia but made elsewhere in Italy. My favorites are those made in Puglia using grapes grown in Puglia. I haven't tasted every Primitivo, but I've come close.

I've written more on the Primitivo grape, which is identical to California's Zinfandel grape on a genetic level, here and here.

Top 10 Primitivo Wines From Puglia
(in order)

1. 2007 "Primitivo di Manduria" DOC by Attanasio Winery
2. 2003 “Elegia: Affinato in Barrique" DOC by Consorzio Produttori Vini
3. 2004 “Terragnolo Primitivo” IGT by Apollonio Winery
4. 2002 “Dunico” DOC by Masseria Pepe Winery
5. 2006 “Elegia: Affinato in Barrique" DOC by Consorzio Produttori Vini
6. 2006 “Lirica” DOC by Consorzio Produttori Vini
7. 2003 “Santufili” IGT by Mocavero Winery
8. 2006 “Felline” DOC by Racemi Winery
9. 2007 "Patrunu RĂ³" IGT by Botrungo Winery
10. 2006 “Amativo” IGT by Cantele Winery (this is a blend of 60% Primitivo, 40% Negroamaro)


Anonymous said…
I had the Sessantanni Primitivo Di Manduria vintage 2006. Loved it! I live in bay area, california and was wondering if there are any good retailers in the US that carry any of these wines that you are aware of.
I've had Feudi di San Marzano's 2008 "Sud" Primitivo di Manduria and really enjoyed it, particularly for the price point: a nose of concentrated raisin/jam with flavors of blackberry and chocolate; very rich, silky for 7 euros. I've never tried the Sessantanni.

I know that you can find good primitivo wines made by Cantele Winery and Racemi Winery in the Bay Area. Here's an interesting article with a list of wines imported from Puglia:

As always, the best way to get these wines is to ask your local wine store. I bet the guys at BevMo or The Wine House on 16th Street and Carolina could snag you a bottle or two.

Thanks for dropping by!
Len West said…
Drink it all, drink it all
Drink it all, drink it all, etc.
Anonymous said…
What about Az Agr Morella range of old vine Primitivo??
olive matuka said…
good god, i can't believe you're comparing the dignity and sophistication of a good primitivo to
the sleaze of an iphone. argh.
Haha, some people love their iPhones more than their mothers, Olive:-) And I did make the distinction, "unlike the iPhone, Primitivo wines will never be obsolete."

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