Sessantanni Primitivo Di Manduria DOP 2013, San Marzano, Apulia, Italy

Drunk June 2017 @ home

The winery

Cantine San Marzano

In 1962 nineteen vineyard owners from San Marzano in Apulia (Southern Italy),  whose families   had   farmed   the   land   for   generations, combined   their   efforts   to   establish   “Cantine San Marzano”. Since then this co-ooperative has grown significantly, attracting over 1200 vine growers producing elegant wines in a traditional style with distinctive varietal  and  regional characters, seasonal variation and local terroir.

Apulia  region

Manduria, Province of Taranto, Apulia, Italy

Manduria, Province of Taranto, Apulia, Italy

Apulia, in the heart of the acclaimed DOP (Denominazione d’Origine Protetta) “Primitivo di Manduria” area, is a strip of land between the Ionian and the Adriatic seas. It is situated in the province of Taranto and Brindisi, in Puglia, an area known for its wine and olive trees growing in a red soil surface. 

Puglia is a southern region of Italy forming the heel of Italy’s “boot,” with its capital Bari.

The vineyard’s soils and the Mediterranean terroir play a fundamental role in the production wines, with an extreme climate, frosts, drought and the sirocco winds making it difficult for wine makers. 

The wine

Production area: 60 year old vineyards, selected in San Marzano and Sava. The soil is mainly “red earth”, with a fine texture and a generally calcareous underground with few emerging rocks. The well-known redness of these soils is due to the presence of iron oxides. The climate is characterised by high temperatures all year round, very little rainfall and a wide temperature range between night and dayThis is the central area of d.o.p. “Primitivo di Manduria”.

Harvest period: Second half of September.

Vinification: Grapes are hand-harvested in advanced status of ripening. Maceration: 18 days on 80% of the mass, 25 days on remaining 20% (with selected autochthonous yeasts). Thermo- controlled alcoholic fermentation at 24-26°C.

Ageing: 12 months in fine French and American wood barrels

Ageing potential:  Up to 7 years.

Serving temperature: About 18°C.

Fermented Grape Tasting Notes

The Primitivo Sessantanni showcases a completely new generation of Southern Italian wine making. With a reassuringly heavy bottle, in the glass it is ruby red with jammy, pruny aromas which continue on the palate. Significant legs on the glass. This is a big full bodied wine, like a Port or Barossa Shiraz but also very different. The palate is dominated by intense, fleshy fruit - plums and black cherry. It is ultra smooth with soft, fine tannins with a long finish. Ideally suited for meat. 

A little heavy but nevertheless very enjoyable and a lovely example of Italian wine with a distinctive style reflecting the terroir of the South. Managed to pick up on a Primitivo 25% off offer at the Swiss Co-op at around CHF 20 so also great price and one more bottle to sample tucked in the cellar.

Brunello di Montalcino 2008 Banfi, Sangiovese, Tuscany, Italy

Drunk September 2013


Castello Banfi is a family owned vineyard estate and winery in the Brunello region of Tuscany made exclusively from Sangiovese grapes grown on the slopes around Montalcino – a classic Tuscan hilltop village 20 miles (30km) south of Siena. The grapes for this Brunello are sourced from hillside sites with calcareous sandy topsoil and rounded stones over 170 hectares of estate vineyards in the southern hill area of Montalcino, 220 meters above sea level. 

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Brunello di Montalcino is one Italy's most famous  wines. In Tuscany, its homeland, it shares the top spot with Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Chianti. The word Brunello translates roughly as 'little dark one', and is the local name for Sangiovese Grosso, the large-berried form of Sangiovese which grows in the area.

This Banfi Brunello has plenty of the usual Brunello intensity, typical of the Sangiovese grape. Plenty of fruit and a silky finish, but overpriced for the experience. Good but not exceptional.