Thursday, May 26, 2016

Primitivo of Joy from Eastern Madera County's Westbrook Wine Farm

"Not a wine for those who practice flavor avoidance," notes Ray Krause in his latest note to me. Frankly, I love his notes as they are always so informative.
Primitivo vineyard
At Westbrook Wine Farm in Madera County just on the doorstep of Yosemite, Ray raises the flag for winemaking and wine growing in this part of the Sierra Foothills.
This note about his Primitivo is worth a read:

"Introducing Primitivo di gioia 2012 by Westbrook Wine Farm....
The ancient Primitivo grape is Italy’s genetic twin to our California red Zinfandel which both originated over 2000 years ago in Croatia before the Roman Empire.
Unsupported legend has it that Primitivo may have been the red wine served at the Last Supper. Its deep red color with twinkling ruby highlights prepares the fortunate taster for layers of juicy, full flavored blackberry, anise and wood spice without a trace of bitterness. Di gioia simply means “of joy”, so please enjoy!
I think it was around the late 1960s when a new wave of California winemakers, eager to set themselves apart, began producing red Zinfandels to mimic Cabernet Sauvignon.  The low acid, tannic, late harvest, alcohol laden, fruit forward style all but obliterated the true characteristics if the grape with excesses.
We were still in the midst of the “white/cold wine boom” and “white Zin” was yet to be marketed. Before DNA analysis, Zinfandel was known as California’s own grape because it was not known to other parts of the globe by that name. We had heard about Primitivo di Gioia from Italy but did not make any organoleptic or physiological connection.
We now know that Zinfandel and Primitivo are genetic twins. It was the most widely planted red grape in California at that time. Cabernet Sauvignon, however, was (and still is) red king of California.
While big banks and insurance companies hurried to plant more Cabernet vineyards, Zinfandel would become the temporary surrogate as consumers swayed back into increased red wine consumption. However stylistically well crafted, it never tasted like a red Bordeaux. In our opinion, produced properly it probably has more in common with a rich Burgundy or southern Rhone.

Primitivo at Westbrook Wine Farm….we offer you the past in its authentic form.In this, our first crafting of an old school style California Primitivo at Westbrook Wine Farm, we offer you the past in its authentic form."

Westbrook Wine Farm
49610 House Ranch Road
O'Neals, California 93645

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