Primitivo Salento, 2014. Tenuta Boncore

Primitivo Salento, 2014. Tenuta Boncore

Item #: V0318R1-3II
Vintage: 2014
Varietal: Primitivo Salento
Vineyard/Appellation: Salento I.G.P., Italy
Color: Medium to Dark Purple
Nose: Truffles and Strawberry
Palate: Dense Berry, Chocolate
Finish: Lots of Strawberry
Rating: 97
Cellaring/Serving Suggestions: Now through 2025/Red Meat, Game/Alcohol: 13.5%

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This incredible selection was crafted by the San Donaci co-operative in southern Italy. The co-op was founded in 1933, and now has 300 active growers who participate in the production of over two million gallons of wine. Most of it, however, is sold as bulk to other producers in Italy and even France. But the best of their labors, naturally, is produced for themselves.

Primitivo is one of the benchmark grapes of southern Italy, producing hearty, flavorful wines similar to California's Zinfandel. As a matter of fact, it's the same grape as Zinfandel. For many years, it was thought that Zinfandel was a native of California because it flourished so well there. DNA testing showed it was the same grape as Primitivo in Italy, so everyone figured it originated there.

Seems they were all wrong. It actually is a native of Croatia, and migrated to Southern Italy over 500 years ago. Nothing like a little science to get in the way of folklore.

Regardless of the grape's origins, Boncore makes one of the best Primitivo wines we've tasted. The soils here are so devoid of earth that the vines have to struggle for every ounce of water. In so doing, they extract minerals from the rocks in the soil, producing grapes of incredible presence.

Here is a perfect example. From the first glance, the dark color signals the density of the wine to follow. The flavors of earth, truffles and strawberry descend on the palate and deposit flecks of flavor from beginning to grand and glorious end.