Paololeo - Primitivo di Manduria 2018


Primitivo di Manduria DOC 2018

Puglia, Italy

I am very fond of this wine. When I moved to London back in 2011, this was the only good (really good) Primitivo (and Apulian wine) available in the main supermarkets. This nectar is 100% Primitivo from vineyards located in Manduria and Sava. The grapes are manually harvested, generally at the end of August. Then they are destemmed and fermented at controlled temperature of 25 °C. After this process, the divine nectar ages for 6 months in American oak barrels and other 2 months in stainless steel tanks. Salute!


In the glass the wine has a ruby colour. The intensity is deep.


The aromas intensity is medium plus. In the glass, there is a triumph of iris and rose, followed by a cornucopia of ripe fruits as cherry, fig, plum, and prune. The aromatic palette in then enriched by notes of medicinal, tomato leaf and liquorice. The secondary aromas remember the vanilla and coconut, which are the typical flavours given by the American oak, but also clove and toast. The tertiaries are dry cranberry, meaty and game.


In the mouth, the wine is dry with a medium plus level of acidity. Also the tannins are medium plus, but they are really rounded and silky. The alcohol is high (i.e. 14 %), but it doesn’t burn at all. At the first sip, our tasting buds are teased by a sprinkling of sharp black pepper, immediately followed by a wave of ripe black fruits, dried flowers, jam, candies and spices as cinnamon, vanilla and cloves. I can also recognize the nostalgic perfume of dried grass inebriating the air in the hot days of Apulian summers. The intensity is pronounced and the lasting long.


I have been uncorking bottles of this Primitivo since 2011. So, I can say without any doubt of being proved wrong, that this is a great wine. It is balanced, has intensity, lasting and it is quite complex too. Especially on the palate, it is a kaleidoscope of ripe black fruits, spices and elegant dried flowers. All its flavours inebriate and delight our senses as only few wines can do, and probably nothing else in this price range. Salute!

Final vote: 92

Price: £10.99 at Waitrose

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