Best Primitivo Wine

Primitivo

Primitivo is an Italian red grape that many wine drinkers recognize by its American counterpart Zinfandel, although the grape’s true origin is Croatia, where the grape is known as Crljenak Kaštelanski. Some have taken to calling Primitivo ZPC to include all three grape names as an acronym. 

Primitivo has been grown in the heel of Italy, Puglia, since the 18th century, where it is now roughly the twelfth most planted grape variety. There are three DOC regions approved for the growth of Primitivo: (1) Primitivo di Manduria, (2) Gioia del Colle Primitivo and (3) Falerno del Massico Primitivo. 

The Primitivo grape thrives in this part of Italy due to the flat lying lands of the Salento Peninsula where the cooling winds of both the Adriatic and the Ionian Seas benefit the vineyards. It is usually the first grape to ripen, hence its name which means “early.”

My reviews of these Primitivo red wines are updated weekly. These Primitivo red wines offer great taste at a good price. You'll find a definition of Primitivo wine at the bottom of this page as well as food pairings for Primitivo in my wine matcher. This is just a small set of my reviews, but you can get all of them when you join my wine community.
 

Canaletto  Casa Girelli Primitivo 2008
Puglia, Italy
A wonderful quaffer with black cherries and some smoky notes. Perfect for barbecues and casual potluck gatherings. Primitivo food pairings: hamburgers, roast beef, grilled chicken, pepperoni pizza. Alcohol: 14%  Sweetness: Dry  750 ml  Price: $11.95 Score: 86/100

This Primitivo was reviewed July 11, 2009 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 94565  Check Stock
 

Itynera Primitivo 2007
I.G.T., Salento, Puglia, Italy
Vintages Wine Panel: This easy-drinking Primitivo offers great quality at a modest price. Deep ruby in colour, it’s bursting with attractive aromas of plum, blueberry, cherry and spices on the nose. Dry, medium-bodied with a supple texture, this flavourful wine from southern Italy sports concentrated berry fruit flavours that are joined by mocha and vanilla notes on the mid-palate. There’s some definite grip showing on the toasty finish. Try it with a hearty meatball recipe. My note: A simple, attractive, robust red with pleasing dark fruit. Knock it back! Primitivo food pairings: meatballs. Alcohol: 14%  Sweetness: Extra Dry  750 ml  Price: $14.95 Score: 86/100

This Primitivo was reviewed February 6, 2010 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 70805  Check Stock
 

Cantine Due Palme Primitivo 2005
I.G.T., Salento, Puglia, Italy
Dark chocolate and black raspberry richness: lovely! Dark plums unfold on the palate with gorgeously rich layers of blackberry jam. Primitivo food pairings: grilled baby back ribs. Alcohol: 13.5%  Sweetness: Dry  750 ml  Price: $15.95 Score: 89/100

This Primitivo was reviewed October 10, 2009 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 658351  13 in stock
 

Feudi Di San Marzano Primitivo 2007
I.G.T., Puglia, Italy
Juicy sweet with fleshy ripe purple plums. Gulpable and quaffable. Full-bodied and smooth. Alcohol: 14%  Sweetness: Extra Dry  750 ml  Price: $13.95 Score: 85/100

This Primitivo was reviewed August 19, 2008 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 120915  Check Stock
 

Cantine Due Palme Primitivo 2009
I.G.T., Salento, Puglia, Italy
Dark chocolate and mocha with fleshy ripe blackberry notes. Some smoke on the finish. Medium- to full-bodied. Primitivo food pairings: grilled steak with mushrooms and onions. Alcohol: 13.5%  Sweetness: Dry  750 ml  Price: $15.95 Score: 87/100

This Primitivo was reviewed August 18, 2012 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 658351  8 in stock
 


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Primitivo

Primitivo vines may ripen unevenly, but they can produce grapes high in sugar, often resulting in an average alcohol content of 15% or higher. Primitivo can also be used for white wines and rosé. White Zinfandel is three times more popular than red Zinfandel in America. The wine typically displays rich, full-bodied, dark berry fruit aromas, and notes of pepper, raisins and black licorice, with a certain fruit sweetness to them.

Primitivo pairs well with any dish that has a touch of sweetness in it, such as barbecued ribs and chicken wings. Steaks with a sweeter sauce or rub on them pair well with Primitivo as do hamburgers with relish, ketchup and other garnishes. Creamy cheeses like brie as well as spicy sweet coconut curry dishes also work as pairings for this wine. Researched by Lesley Quinn.