Li Veli Orion Primitivo 2012

I love wearing high heels.  And I love drinking wines that come from the heel of the Italian peninsula!  Go Salento!This is a wine that reminds me of fine suede and a fine-waled corduroy–amazing textures and a striking mouth-feel with great weight and presence.  Malolactic fermentation takes place in French barrels before it spends another 6 months in larger 225 L barriques–the wood aging helps give this wine the body, structure, and a zip of clove & baking-spice spiciness that makes it so big, yet balanced.  Now add fruit like black and blueberries, plum, and dried black cherry, but don’t forget the black olive and leather that mingle with the dark fruit components.

Primitivo is the Old World version of Zinfandel, so definitely try this if you are a fan of big, bold juicy reds.  It doesn’t have the real jammy characters that some Zins exude, but voluptuous fruit and ample, plush tannins.

This wine is really young with great acidity for cellar aging.  Drink this now, with some decanting patience, or store it and save it for the next 5-10 years.  (I know, I hate waiting, too!)  This was opened the night before I drank it and showed surprising suppleness.  It needs time and air to unwind.  Think big, hearty foods when drinking this wine:  juicy cheese burgers, slow-roasted meats, wild game, aged cheeses, and dark chocolate desserts.   I love wine.

This producer also makes a Salice Salentino with negroamaro grapes.    I reviewed the 2010 vintage of their Passamante on Good Taste Book. Another great wine to try!


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