San Marzano 62 Anniversario Primitivo Di Manduria Riserva 2017
As featured on The Wine Show with Joe Fattorini 04/04/2020.
This is quite simply one of the best red wines we've tasted from southern Italy for years or, for that matter, from the whole Mediterranean. The 62 Anniversario Primitivo by San Marzano is a wine of real calibre, combining vibrancy and purity of fruit with subtle, vanilla-flecked oak and the warm tobacco, prune-like flavours of long maturation. It's a full-bodied wine with plenty of kick, but there's a freshness to the acidity that brings it alive in the mouth. A stunning wine from one of the best producers in Puglia.
Drink with fiery tomato dishes, hearty stews or smoky grilled vegetables or red meat such as steak or game, or a stew with a red wine base. It's good now but may well improve over the next five or so years.
The grapes were harvested slightly later than usual, promoting bold, riper fruit flavours. After fermentation, the wine was matured in a combination of French and American oak for 18 months. No animal-based fining agents or winery aids were used during the vinification.
The 62 Anniversario Primitivo di Manduria from Cantine San Marzano is dry, deep, and full-bodied, red wine crafted from hand-picked grapes in vineyards bordered on either side by the Ionian and the Adriatic seas in the Puglia red wine region of Italy. The 2012 San Marzano 62 Anniversario Primitivo won a gold medal at the 2015 Sommelier Wine Awards, while the 62 Anniversario Primitivo di Manduria Riserva 2011 won a silver medal in the 2014 Sommelier Wine Awards. The wine has also won the bronze medal in the 2015 Decanter World Wine Awards, so it has quite a pedigree!
In the heart of d.o.p. Primitivo di Manduria and Mediterranean terroir, Cantine San Marzano has settled in Apulia, Italy. The cantine was established in 1962 by 19 vine growers whose families had farmed the area for generations. It has evolved with the years while maintaining its loyalty to traditional Apulian winemaking. Now the co-operative consists of over 1000 winegrowers of the Puglia region. San Marzano wines are elegant and offer a wide variation of appeal, from red to white to rosé, sparkling and not. Prior to 2013, they were known as Lucarelli, but they have since rebranded and become a world-renowned name in winemaking with many awards. They have won wine awards in China and Japan as well as in Italy, both nationally and internationally
After the grapes for the 62 Anniversario Primitivo di Manduria have reached an advanced stage of ripeness, they are harvested by hand. It is this marked ripeness that gives the wine a full-bodied character. Maceration occurs over 18 days on 80% of the mass, while the remaining 20% undergoes 25 days of maceration. The maceration is another process that enhances the body and mouthfeel of the San Marzano 62 Anniversario Primitivo, while the partially extended maceration adds colour and complexity without becoming overly astringent or harsh. The macerated grapes then undergo thermo-controlled alcoholic fermentation at 24 to 26°C with autochthonous yeasts. The wine ages for 18 months in French and American wood barrels.
The selected Primitivo grapes (also known as Zinfandel) were harvested in late September from one of the older vineyards in San Marzano and Sava, from the d.o.p. Primitivo de Manduria from which the "62 Anniversario Primitivo di Manduria" gains its name. The vines were planted to a density of 5000 bush vines per hectare. Iron oxides tint the fine soil red, while a dry climate with hot days and cold nights help the grapes fully develop their character. The soil is generally calcareous with few emerging rocks, which results in cool underground temperatures and water retention. It is this somewhat harsh Italian climate that characterises many of the bold San Marzano wines produced in the region.
The 62 Anniversario Primitivo is a dry red wine with 14.5% alcohol, which is a touch on the higher side but an expected characteristic of wines made from the Zinfandel grape variety. The fine tannins and a hint of spice make it very enjoyable to drink. Flavours of black cherry, jam, prunes, tobacco, and liquorice can be noted at the first sip, trailed by hints of cocoa, vanilla, and coffee. Its velvety texture combined with a long, lingering finish makes it a delicious red wine alone or with a meal. Wine judges in the 2014 Sommelier Wine Awards called it "Big and powerful," while Roger Jones called it "Luxurious, rich, and lingering," noting the "velvety, gorgeous palate, with its long, luscious finish" at the 2015 Sommelier Wine Awards.
This Puglia red wine can be enjoyed alone or with a variety of savoury dishes. Allow it to age for up to seven years for matured flavours. Serve slightly below room temperature at 18°C to fully enjoy the experience. Pair with red meat such as steak or game, or a stew with a red wine base.
Grape - Primitivo 100%
Country - Italy
Region - Apulia
Body Value: D (A is light, E is full-bodied)
Contains Sulphites: Yes
Closure: Natural Cork