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Terragnolo Apollonio 1997 Terragnolo Primitivo Salento ($9.99)
The Primitivo grape of Southern Italy was once thought to be an ancestor of the American Zinfandel but is now considered its sibling. I've never found much resemblance between Primitivo and Zin, which may simply remind us that wine making and terroir have as much influence on the style of the finished wine as does the grape. This one is very much Italian in style and not at all Zinlike, showing an inky dark-garnet color in the glass, with warm aromas of plummy fruit and spicy oak. Tart dried cherries and plums and lemon-squirt acidity are evident in the flavor. U.S. importer: Vin Divino Ltd., Chicago. (Oct. 2, 1999)

FOOD MATCH: A match made in heaven with a simple chicken cacciatore made with fresh garden tomatoes.

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All my wine-tasting reports are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores.

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