The Puglia Wine Review, August 1, 2011

I found both of these primitivo wines at Fred Meyer's on Hawthorne and SE 39th. As always, the Puglia Wine Review features wines found in Portland, Oregon.

A-Mano 2008 Primitivo IGT
Rating: 7
Price: $8.99
Where to Buy: Fred Meyer
Short Review: Doesn't taste like Primitivo, but a great budget wine

A-Mano is the winery that really changed everything. Founded by two Americans, the winery invested in Puglia around 1999 and immediately began to capitalize on the connection between primitivo and zinfandel. I think that A-Mano was the winery that really brought this connection to the forefront. As far as bang for buck, this wine is really great. However, it does not taste like primitivo: it isn't big and silky with dark fruit. It starts off right, though. The nose is big and spicy with dark fruit. It almost hugs you. There's a little heat. In the mouth, however, the wine is light boded, dry, tannic, acidic, balanced, and clean. It will pair well with most food. It is not jammy or fruity. It is surprisingly vibrant, too. The heat gives it energy rather than distracting from the flavor. At a blind tasting, I would guess that A-Mano's primitivo were a Montepulciano d'Abruzzo.

Primaterra 2009 Primitivo IGT
Rating: 2
Price: $7.50
Where to Buy: Fred Meyer
Short Review: "I wouldn't spend too much time trying to taste this one."

This wine is very fashionable, with a cute, childish drawing of a chicken on the label, and even literary, with a bit of a poem on the back. Unfortunately, the wine tastes uninspired. Nose is low key---not hot---with a little choke cherry. The mouth is very acidic. Tannins tingle the front gums. I got a little cola or oak, but the tartness was pervasive, reminiscent of rhubarb. Finish is short. Light bodied.


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