Wine: A-Mano Primitivo Puglia IGT
Region: Puglia, southernmost Italy
In the glass: A-Mano Primitivo is a deep blackish-red color with an opaque appearance at the core, going out into a deep purple to blood-red rim definition with high viscosity.
On the nose: There is immediate, bold, crushed ripe black and red berry fruit, permeated by creme de cassis, star anise, licorice, boysenberry sorbet and oak references. With a little swirling in the glass, it emits more and spicier black fruit with hints of violets and earthy minerality.
On the palate: A-Mano Primitivo is a huge mouthful of crushed mixed berries, and chewy, ripe, juicy black fruit. There are hints of tobacco, chocolate, aniseed and wild cherries through the midpalate. It comes together nicely on the after-mouth, where the powerful, yet supple tannins kick in and deliver a pleasant, lengthy finish with hints of licorice and dried figs.
Odds and ends: A-Mano is a wine that I keep coming back to because it is a stellar value. Since I last reviewed this wine, the company has expanded and even makes a delicious zinfandel in the south of Italy (still with the original American winemaker). It delivers the big, bold flavor so sought after in California, yet at a much more reasonable price. A-Mano is made for immediate drinking, using the now fashionable black plastic stopper that does not allow for long-term aging in the bottle. The wine goes well with all types of rich foods because it has excellent levels of acidity, but it is especially recommended with Italian meat dishes and pasta with Bolognese sauce.
Gil Lempert-Schwarz's wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89016-0749, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.