Wine Data
Appellation:  Alexander Valley
Grape Varietal:  Primitivo 99%, Zinfandel 1%
Alcohol:  16.9%
pH:  3.2
TA:  6.7 g/L
Size:  750ml
Home Delivery Shipping Offer:  $1 per bottle + $1 order processing fee when you order a minimum of 2 bottles


Retail Price: $45.00

Our Primitivo is a unique varietal, one not often seen in California.

Primitivo is famous in southern Italy, particularly in the Puglia region (the country’s boot heel) where the grape thrives.   In California, there have been many debates on Primitivo’s family connections to Zinfandel.  Definitive genetic analysis completed at UC Davis in 2003 ultimately made a crucial link when it proved that California’s Zinfandel, Italy’s Primitivo and Croatia’s  Crljenak/Pribidrag all share the same DNA profile. 

At Alexander Valley Vineyards, we’ve always been intrigued by the Zinfandel connection.  In 2000 we planted an acre of Primitivo high above our estate.   It quickly became apparent that the varietal had very different flavor profiles than Zinfandel planted in the same area.   Those differences make it a perfect varietal for the Alexander School Reserve series. 

Overall, 2016 was a more normal growing season than the last few years. While the drought was still persistent, we received much needed rain over the winter and early spring. The good weather continued through the summer with no damaging heat spikes. Yields were slightly reduced, but the quality and flavor of the grapes were stellar.   After harvest the grapes were de-stemmed into 1/2 ton macro bins for fermentation with Rockpile yeast.  This yeast is perfect for rich concentrated reds and adds a lushness to the wine.  After fermentation the wine aged for 21 months in eight American oak barrels.  The tiny amount of Zinfandel adds spice and jammy flavors to the wine. 

The 2016 Alexander School Reserve Primitivo offers aromas of blueberry and red cherry with a little oak and vanilla.  There are distinctive flavors of blueberry, red cherry and cranberry along with a hint of warm spices and cardamon.   This is a big wine with great acidity and a juicy finish.