Behind the Cork™ - Alexander Valley Vineyards Primitivo


2013 Alexander Valley Vineyards Primitivo ($45)

This week’s Behind the Cork™ feature is a special one. During my last visit to Alexander Valley Vineyards I had the pleasure of spending time in the tasting room with Denise Gill, their Tasting Room Manager. And, I got to taste a bunch of really great wines.

This Alexander School Reserve Primitivo was one of several that I brought home.

The grapes are from their Wetzel Family Estate, located on the property settled in the 1840’s by Alexander Valley’s namesake, Cyrus Alexander. And, the Alexander School Reserve wines focus on some of the best and most unique lots of grapes that they harvest each year.

If you know Primitivo, you know that its DNA analysis proved that Zinfandel and Primitivo are the same variety. But, at the Wetzel Family Estate, they grow both side by side in a tiny hillside vineyard planted high above the winery, and they claim that flavors of each are dramatically different.

They state that the Primitivo has “loads of black fruit with great acidity, while the Zinfandel has jammy raspberry flavors and lots of spice.” I have to strongly agree!

This is a special one. Next time you are in Alexander Valley, you must stop at Alexander Valley Vineyards. In addition to a great bunch of wines offered in their tasting room, they have extensive wine caves that can be toured upon special request.

This Primitivo was a real pleasure. Look for it. Cheers!