Saturday, July 17, 2010
Gladiator 2004 Primitivo di Manduria (Italy)
Primitivo is Italian Zinfandel ... honest. Primitivo is a kissing cousin of the American red grape/wine called Zinfandel - it has many of the same characteristics including a great plummy nose and vanilla-plum taste. This Gladiator was that wine a few moons ago, today it is different - not better, not worse, just different. Right from the bottle the nose is wonderfully plummy, but the flavour was muted, giving nothing up and not very inviting. So I took it upon myself to aerate the wine with my Vinturi (I am beginning to find the holes on the sides a bit of a hassle - especially when used in conjunction with the stand); the nose suddenly became dull and boring but the mouth liven up a bit, and the important thing here was taste - so I aerated a full glass. Wood and cedar notes with spice and dried plum (though not yet prune) with a hint of vanilla ... drinkable definitely; Zinfandel-like, not really. I was hoping for more, got less but was able to drink it without wanting to toss it down the sink. This wine is/was better young.