Wine: Epicuro Primitivo IGT.
Region: Umbria, Central Italy
In the glass: Epicuro Primitivo wine is a deep, dense blood-red color with an inky core going out into a fine crimson-edged rim definition and high viscosity.
On the nose: Imagine a chocolate-covered cherry pie with a dash of Cherry Hering liqueur on top and you have an idea where this is going. There’s also mashed blackberries, raisins, spice box, herbally influenced minerals, and touches of smoke and licorice.
On the palate: Epicuro Primitivo is a big-time, full-bodied masculine sort of wine with loads of black cherry-berry action and tons of concentration, extraction and phenolic compounds all over the tongue. In addition to the brawny nature of this wine, the tasty and slightly sweetish cherry fruit comes through with oodles of character, and through the midpalate you have Cherry Garcia from Ben & Jerry’s with tannins that are softer than one might imagine and a great lingering finish.
Odds and ends: Italy produces many great concentrated so-called “monster” wines, especially in the very south where wines made from negroamaro and primitivo – the cousin of zinfandel – are produced in Puglia, known as the “heel” of Italy. Epicuro Primitivo is such a wine and it is an extremely distinct specimen of this particular category.
Beautifully packaged and found exclusively at Trader Joe’s, this wine has everything you’re looking for in a great full-bodied red and then it costs just less than $6 per bottle.
I know it is hard to imagine in this day and age, but fortunately we have a great market for these wines, because the Europeans find them too heavy, while in America we love them. And what’s not to love here? Found and brought to market by that great Italian value-hunter Gaetano d’Aquino, who has an affiliation with Nevada in that he honed his skills in the wine business in Las Vegas, this wine is a highly recommended selection for your seasonal dinner table.
It can go with anything from pot roast and meatloaf to goulash . Drink it now through 2015.
Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89106-0749, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.