Botromagno 2001 "Apulian Zinfandel" ($11.49)
This wine, designated "Puglia IGT" on the back label, is the first I've seen that takes advantage of a recent regulatory ruling that permits the Primitivo grape of Southern Italy to be sold in the U.S. as "Zinfandel," as DNA testing has shown both to be the identical grape, originally the Croatian Crljenik Kasteljanski. As is usually the case with Primitivo, though, whether it's a matter of wine-making differences or terroir, I don't find much resemblance to Zin here. Not that there's anything the matter with this wine the way it is: Dark garnet in color, with distinct earthy, leathery aroma notes to back up cherry-berry fruit. Ripe and juicy flavors, black cherries and plums, are warm and full in a style that speaks more of the Mediterranean than the Pacific. US Importer: Winebow Inc., NYC; Leonardo Locascio Selection. (Mar 20, 2005)

FOOD MATCH: A good food wine, it would fare well with red meat, not to mention the stereotypical tomato-sauced pasta dishes or, my choice, a homemade thin-crust pizza Margherita.



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