Call it an Italian Vintner Wonderland

Lirica Primitivo di Manduria (2007)

When we think of Italy's great grapes we tend to think of Barbera, Montepulciano, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese and others; we probably think rarely about Primitivo (aka Zinfandel / Plavac Mali). But, in Canada at least, you pay a premium to enjoy the best vintages from the top Italian vineyards hence the opportunity to go out of the traditional comfort zone and dip into "the appellation of Primitivo di Manduria DOC, whose sandier soils and sun-baked vineyards produce fruit-forward versions. Produttori Vini Manduria, a cooperative with 400 members, leads... with a supple yet ripe version sourced from 20- to 50-year-old vines and aged in oak barrels for three months." (Nathan Wesley, Wine Spectator, 2011)

This week SukasaStyle picked up a bottle of Lirica Primitivo di Manduria (2007 vintage) from LCBO's Vintages (LCBO # 326710 | $18.95 - 750 ml) 
Lirica Primitivo di Manduria 2007

LCBO Tasting Notes:
Smooth and supple, showing good density to its ripe spicy blackberry and raspberry fruit, which remains fresh through to the tarry finish. Drink now. Score - 90. (Bruce Sanderson, wine, June 30, 2011) 

SukasaStyle Tasting Notes:
Cherries, plum, raspberries on the nose with an oak intensity accompanying a ruby colour and good legs. The palate is soft, tannins not austere and a peppery smooth that is balanced with acidity.

Pairing: While the fruit forward aspect makes it suitable as a sipping wine we suggest serving at 16-18 degrees Celsius and pairing with pizza, lasagne, cured meats (capocollo, salami, prosciutto) to bring out the best. 

Under the hood:
100% Primitivo

Thankfully South African wines have long moved on from pinotage and given the micro climates in the Western Cape region we have a skillfully blended entry from the disciples of Dr. Charles Niehaus that can be drunk now or left to cellar for 3-4 years. 

Wine analysis
Alcohol: 14 % v/v
pH: 3.40
Total acidity: 5.80 g/l
Residual sugar: 1.8 g/l 
Access the wine's fact sheet here and in Italian here.

Rating: 4.45 / 5 SukasaStars
Quality Price Ratio: Excellent


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