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 varietal’s connections to Zinfandel. Definitive genetic analysis completed at UC Davis in 2003 proved that California’s Zinfandel, Italy’s Primitivo and Croatia’s Crljenak/Pribidrag all share the same DNA profile.
In 2000 we planted Primitivo high above our winery on a one acre sloping site. It quickly became apparent that the varietal had very different flavor profiles than Zinfandel planted in the same area. Those differences make this a perfect varietal for the Alexander School Reserve series.
The 2020 growing season enjoyed near-perfect growing conditions. The year began with lower than normal rainfall and unseasonably warm temperatures. This was followed by weeks of steady daytime heat and cool evenings, allowing the grapes to ripen evenly. At harvest, the quality of the fruit was excellent with high acidity and intense flavors. 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, adding a lushness to the wine. After fermentation the wine was cave aged for 20 months in eight American oak barrels.
The 2020 Alexander School Reserve Primitivo offers aromas of blueberry, plum, red cherry, oak, vanilla, and black pepper. There are spicy, medium bodied flavors of cranberry along with warm spices and cardamon. This is a big wine with zippy acidity and a juicy finish.
2019: 91 points & Five Stars - Beverage Dynamics/Cheers
2018: 91 points - Los Angeles Invitational Wine Competition
Please note: This wine is prohibited from shipping to Montana or Vermont.