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What our expert thought of San Marzano 'Talò' Primitivo di Manduria




the tasting

The Tasting


Ten days of cold maceration before fermentation have extracted plenty of colour; the wine is a deep and vivid ruby.
 
The powerful nose is spicy, smoky (almost tarry) and very ripe. Rich fruit scents of black cherries and plum jam are given an edge by accents of cocoa and mint.
 
It tastes of ripe, sticky blackberries and raspberry jam, with some dried fruit notes too: prunes and raisins, all wrapped up in dark chocolate.  Good acidity keeps things remarkably fresh, and despite the weight of sweet fruit and 14% alcohol this is only just full-bodied.
 
The alcohol shows up in the warmth of the long finish, where spicy notes of black pepper and cinnamon join the rich fruit.  Velvety tannins add texture and character, but the fruit wins out: this wine finishes sweet rather than dry.


Assessment


Subtle it isn’t, but there’s no denying the concentration and power of this prizewinning Puglian.  Despite the full-on ripeness, this is well-balanced in a way that heavyweight Californian Zinfandels, and even other Italian Primitivos, rarely achieve.
 
There’s plenty of everything here: ripe fruit, oak, tannin and acidity, but nothing is allowed to dominate.  14% alcohol is actually quite modest for this grape in this climate, and the tannins are beautifully balanced by the acidity and the sweet fruit.



Tasting notes

Appearance
clear deep ruby
Nose

Intensity medium+

Aromas very ripe red & black fruit (black cherry, plum jam), oak (smoke, tar), spice (cocoa), herbs (mint)

Development developing
Palate

Sweetness dry -ish

Acidity medium+

Body full, just

Tannins medium+ but velvety, not drying

Intensity pronounced

Flavours black fruit (ripe blackberry), red fruit (raspberry jam), dried fruit (prune, raisin), dark chocolate
Finish

Length long, warming

Flavours as palate, spice (black pepper, cinnamon), ends sweet
Other notes
Lots of everything, yet well-balanced.


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