Arizona, Arizona Terroir, arizona wine, Arizona Wineries, Arizona wines, az wine, AZwine, blends, Brian Ruffentine, Cimmaron Vineyards, Garage-East, italian varietals, Phoenix Tasting Rooms, Primitivo, red wine, Rhone varietals, Syrah, Tempranillo, terroir, Todd Bostock, Willcox, Willcox Bench, willcox wines, wine, Zinfandel
There’s a varietal of wine that’s very popular in the outside world, but that doesn’t show up in Arizona much at all. Zinfandel, also known as Primitivo to most folks keeping track, doesn’t grow terribly well in Arizona. It is uncommon, therefore, to see it in most tasting rooms. Garage-East currently offers the 2013 Primitivo Blend for all your Zinfandel needs, however. I am not a lover of Zinfandel by any stretch of the imagination, but since this grape is so uncommon here, I’d best spread the word. (And while I am not fond of Zin, I do know a good one when I encounter it.)
The Wine: The 2013 Primitivo Blend consists of 50% Primitivo, 25% Tempranillo, and 25% Syrah. The grapes were harvested from Cimmaron Vineyard, in the Willcox AVA. Whole clusters of grapes rested overnight and were destemmed the next day into one-ton fermentation bins. The grapes were cold-soaked for 24-48 hours prior to inoculation. The wine spent 7-21 days on the skins, and was punched down twice daily. After pressing, the wine was moved into a mix of new and used 255L and 228L French and American oak barrels, where it was aged for 24 months. It’s a rich, redolent garnet in the glass.
The Nose: This wine opens up with notes of Blackberry jam, plum, and black currents. As the 2013 Primitivo Blend opens, additional notes of dragonfruit, violets, lilacs, earth, and anise emerge. If purple had a smell, it would be this wine. Everything about it is just… purple.
The Palate: The 2013 Primitivo Blend is a medium-bodied red wine with light tannins. The wine opens with notes of blackberry, mulberry jam, cedar, molasses, nutmeg, and cinnamon. As the wine breathes, additional notes of pomegranate, Willcox dust, and leather emerge. The finish of this wine lasts for 57 seconds, with notes of petrichor, blackberry jam, anise, and light tannins.
The Pairing: Pair the 2013 Primitivo Blend with BBQ chicken or pulled pork–or the vegetarian equivalent; jackfruit.
Impressions: If you are a fan of big, giant, jammy California Zinfandels, this is an Arizona Wine you need to try. This is a big, giant, jammy wine, but with a lower alcohol content than one would expect. There are more subtleties in the 2013 Primitivo Blend than the Monster Zins of Lodi, however. And, as mentioned before, I get an overwhelming impression of “purple” from this wine.
This wine is a male poet, who is fond of purple prose; indeed, of all things purple.