2016 Schola Sarmenti Primitivo Critera
$20.60 btl / $247.20 cs (case of 12 x 750ml)
This week, our team is in Verona at Vinitaly, which is an opportunity for us to connect with our Italian wineries, taste the current vintages and scour the show floor in search of new gems to bring back to Ontario.
These international wine shows are massive, with over 3,000 exhibitors and up to 50,000 industry professionals attending from all corners of the globe. 4 days is sometimes is not enough time to find exactly what we are looking for. This is where our `diggers` come into play. We have a few trusted counterparts that sometimes do the scouring for us. We give them parameters and they send us the best samples they find and then we decide if they are good enough for our customers. This is how the Schola Sarmenti Primitivo from Puglia, Italy was discovered.
We gave Fabio our `digger` in Italy a tough task to find a Primitivo that over delivers on all levels. The team had searched for years to find a balanced, well-structured Primitivo, and when Fabio sent us a sample of the Schola Sarmenti’s Primitivo we had that “aha moment” because it had been THE ONE we`d been searching for all this time.
The 2016 Schola Sarmenti Primitivo Critera is made from 30-year-old vines that yield few, small and highly-concentrated Primitivo grapes that are harvested by hand. The ripe fruit character reflects the hot climate in Puglia and despite its youth, this wine really delivers on the palate, bursting with sumptuous fresh dark cherry and blackberry fruit as well as hints of espresso and spice. The mouth-feel is rich, round, juicy, and expressive with a silky edged finish. Drink now, but be sure to save a few bottles to see how it develops over time.
Price: Case of 12 at $247.20 ($20.60 per bottle)
Drink: Now or over the next 10 years
Type/Variety/Body: Dry red, 100% Primitivo, full-body
Food Pairing: Roasted or grilled red meats, robust tomato based pasta dishes and stinky cheeses
More about Primitivo
In the early 1990s when DNA profiling was used to analyze the genetic relationships between different grape varieties, it was established that Zinfandel was inexplicably identical to a then-obscure grape variety called Primitivo, from the heel of Italy.
Much skepticism brewed within the industry because Primitivo from Italy has a history that can be traced back thousands of years and Californian Zinfandel was considered less than 200 years old. The breakthrough came when it was established that Zinfandel and Primitivo are both clones of a Croatian grape called Crljenak, with molecular marker close enough to deem them identical.
Today, European wineries may call Primitivo Zinfandel and vice versa, and have been capitalized on this new found discovery since the 90s, but American wineries still do not allow the names to be interchanged. With that said, if you like Californian Zinfandel you will love this Primitivo on offer today.