Zinfandel is a variety of red grape planted in over 10 percent of California vineyards. DNA fingerprinting, yes they can do it on grapes too, has revealed that Zinfandel is genetically the same as Primitivo, a variety traditionally grown in the “heel” of Italy. The grape found its way to the United States in the mid-19th century, and how it became known by the name “Zinfandel” is uncertain. The grapes, Zinfandel and Primitivo both typically produce a robust red wine with red berry fruits like raspberry predominate in wines from cooler areas, whereas blackberry, anise and pepper notes are more common in wines made in warmer areas and in wines labelled as Zinfandel.
Most Primitivo is grown in Puglia, the “heel” of Italy. Historically, the grape was fermented and shipped north to Tuscany and Piedmont where it was used as a blending grape to enhance the body of thin red wines produced in those areas. When the link between Primitivo and Zinfandel began to emerge, plantings in the region and production of non-blended varietal increased. Today most Italian Primitivo is made as a rustic wine. Some Italian winemakers age the wines in new American oak to imitate American-style Zinfandel.
Bogle Old Vine Zinfandel 2006
Head-trained, dry farmed old vines continue to be the source for Bogle’s Old Vine Zinfandel. These gnarly old vines produce concentrated fruit of unsurpassed quality and intensity. This supple and full-bodied vintage begins with bramble berries and raspberry jam. Summertime ripeness and richness integrate with hints of black pepper and a touch of dark chocolate. The finish of toasty oak, tobacco and spicy cloves creates a wine of both structure and sumptuousness.
Candido Devinis Primitivo 2007
This hand picked Italian is a deep ruby red colour with garnet notes. The nose is intense and inviting with persistent Mediterranean fruit and hints of spice. It is medium to full bodied with a delicious jammy palate repeating those Mediterranean fruits along with cherry, wild blackberry and raspberry and a touch of clove and spice all leading to a lovely dry finish.