Primitivo (Zinfandel, Crljenak Kastelanski)
Primitivo, Zinfandel, and Crljenak Kastelanski were long thought to be three distinct grape varieties, but recent DNA analysis has shown that they are genetically identical. It is believed that the grapevines were brought to the United States in the 19th century and became widely known as Zinfandel, while remaining relatively unknown in Italy until the late 20th century.
Varietal Origin: Primitivo is a red grape variety that is believed to have originated in the coastal regions of Croatia, where it is known as Crljenak Kastelanski. It is also widely grown in Italy, particularly in the region of Puglia, where it is known as Primitivo. Primitivo is also well-known in the United States, where it is commonly referred to as Zinfandel.
Typical Taste Profile: Primitivo/Zinfandel wines are typically bold and rich, with high alcohol levels and moderate to high tannins. They are known for their jammy, ripe fruit flavors such as blackberry, black cherry, and plum, as well as notes of black pepper, spice, and sometimes a hint of sweetness. Primitivo/Zinfandel wines can vary in style depending on the region and winemaking techniques, ranging from full-bodied and powerful to more elegant and refined.
Regional Styles: Primitivo is primarily grown and produced in the Puglia region of southern Italy, where it is used to make both red wines and rosé wines. Primitivo wines from Puglia are known for their ripe fruit flavors, high alcohol content, and bold, robust character. In the United States, particularly in California, Zinfandel is a widely grown grape variety and is used to produce a range of styles, from juicy and fruit-forward to more complex and structured wines. In Croatia, Crljenak Kastelanski is a lesser-known grape variety that is gaining recognition for its unique character and is used to produce red wines
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