An impulse buy. I'd recently read an article about DNA analysis confirming that Primitivo and Zinfandel grapes are the same, so when I saw this on sale for $7, I said what the hell.

This is a rosso di Salento, an IGT wine from Apulia in southern Italy, an area also known for its Salice Salentino DOC red wine. The thing that struck me right away was how similar this wine was to other Salice Salentinos--which make no use of Primitivo grapes whatsoever--I've tasted. It says a great deal about the impact that vineyard site, general climate, and farming practices can have on a finished wine.

Anyway, this wine was a nice dark, brick red and showed some sediment, suggesting that it had not been overly filtered. (I include this in case you serve the wine and someone complains about the stuff floating in it. Tell them not to worry.) The aroma was pleasantly spicy with faint touches of tobacco and leather. The wine itself had a nice, medium body with a good amount of fruitiness and very mild tannins. The only thing that threw the wine out of balance was some excessive (so I thought) acidity, which left the finish very dry. In fairness, I think this acidity would help the wine work well with all manner of tomato sauces, but as I drank it alongside a burger with ketchup (which, I know, has plenty of acid itself) and it was a little distracting. The bottom line: this as a very good wine for the money, and I recommend it.

One caveat--there are some out there who like to let their wines "breathe" for a while, but this wine turned pretty nasty in the glass after sitting on the table for a while. Not really a mark against the wine, but remember that all glory is fleeting.

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