Feudi di San Marzano’s 2010 Primitivo is unquestionably one of this month’s top Premier Series picks. Why? It tastes great, and it could easily serve as the poster child for Primitivo – the missing link to California’s Zinfandel. Yes, Primitivo, the ancient early ripening varietal that hails from Greece and/or the northern Balkans is the forbearer of California Zinfandel. Primitivo was most likely brought to southern Italy more than 2,500 years ago by the Greeks, who named Apulia and the nearby Italian peninsula Enotria – land of the vine – because of Apulia’s natural proclivity for the production of wine. Today, Primitivo remains one of the most important grape varietals of southern Apulia, especially on the Salento Peninsula. Moreover, Feudi di San Marzano’s Primitivo is the ideal accompaniment to southern Italy’s signature dishes.
My other top pick is a tougher choice. I am very fond of Pazo de Arribi’s wines. They do an excellent job with Bierzo’s two traditional varietals, Mencia and Godello. Nevertheless, Edgbaston’s 2011 Honey Pot gets my nod this month. Why? It’s an excellent example of how far South Africa has come in producing wines that the rest of the world wants to drink. Edgebaston’s Honey Pot is a tasty blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, and Viognier. It wasn’t too long ago that South Africa could barely give away its rustic, full-bodied reds, now it is making world class red and white wines.
A Votre Santé!