Terre di Montelusa Primitivo, 2018


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Winemaster's View

A bright, warming and great value red from the far south of Italy. Primitivo thrives in the very dry, hot conditions found in Puglia – the ‘heel’ of Italy. Flavours of ripe red berry fruits and a touch of sweet damson fruit are very typical of Primitivo. This doesn’t have the high alcohol or sweetness of wines like Californian Zinfandel but has an intriguing sweet aftertaste on the elegant palate. - Andy Howard MW

About the Wine

The Calatrasi winery was originally founded in Sicily, just south of Palermo, in 1980, and today has several hundred hectares of vineyards on the island. The expansion into Apulia came a few decades later, and the vineyards from which this wine is made are located in the IGT Salento area where the grapes can achieve an early and full ripeness.

Calatrasi’s objective is to make affordable wines for everyday drinking that focus on quality and originality. Primitivo is a hardy grape variety, it will tolerate drought, spring frosts, flower blight and high temperatures which is why it thrives so well in Puglia (and also California where is it known as Zinfandel).

However it is not a hugely productive vine, the skins are thin and sensitive to moulds and humidity. Its most challenging characteristic however is to over-ripen very quickly – a delay of just a few days in harvesting will lead to shrivelled grapes and a rapid loss of acidity and fresh flavours.

Fortunately that is not an issue with this example which is smooth, with ripe, bright fruit and a soft velvety texture.

Goes well with

A lot of Primitivo from Puglia has a soft, warming, slightly sweet character that is perfect when matched with grilled, roasted and charred meats. Also, a fantastic accompaniment to all sorts of cheeses – the sweetness will marry beautifully with dry goats cheeses.

This generous southern Italian red is also delicious when sipped on its own – preferably in front of a log fire!


Terre di Montelusa
Producer Calatrasi
Year 2018
Grapes Primitivo 100%
Country Italy
Colour Red
ABV 13%
Organic / Biodynamic No / No
Vegetarian / Vegan Yes / Yes
Volume 750ml (Full bottle)

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