Tormaresca, “Torcicoda” Primitivo Salento IGT 2019 (about $24)

Italian Wine for february, 2023

The Tormaresca winery is part of the Antinori family’s extensive wine empire. Established in 1998 in the Puglia region in southern Italy the winery has within its relatively short existence established a well-earned reputation for producing quality wines made with local, traditional varieties as well as a few international varieties.

The Tormaresca estate has vineyards in two of Puglia’s premier wine-producing subregions,  one in the Castel del Monte DOC in central Puglia and the other in the Salento peninsula in southern Puglia.

The Torcicoda is crafted entirely of Primitivo from the estate’s Masseria Maime vineyards in the Salento area.  Primitivo is one of Puglia’s most popular grape varieties, often used in combination with other varieties but increasingly as the sole variety in the region’s numerous offerings.

Although the Primitivo grape is genetically related to California’s immensely popular Zinfandel variety, they can and do produce different wines due to different soil and weather conditions as well as different wine-making practices.

California vintners generally prefer to harvest their Zinfandel when super-ripe so the higher sugar and alcohol content prompt a smo2019 Torcicoda Primitivo from the Tormaresca winery in Pugliaother, big dark fruit style wine while Primitivo vintners prefer heartier, acidic and less sweet versions than their California equivalents. But there are no hard and fast rules with differing styles of Primitivo in play even between different areas of Puglia.

Tormaresca’s 2019 “Torcicoda” is produced with fully-ripe Primitivo grapes. The grapes undergo a 2-week maceration on the skins and then fermented and aged in French oak barriques for 18 months.

This is a classic Primitivo from the Salento area, richly textured with exuberant red berry fruit flavors and some spice notes. It has a full, round mouthfeel grounded by good acidity with soft tannins while the 15.5 percent alcohol provides structure. While rich and intense, this pure Primitivo effortlessly combines richness with elegance and poise.

It’s quite a wine at a very modest price.


©Richard Marcis
February 9, 2023

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