Submitted by Jean Engelke
We chose Castello Monaci Piluna Primitivo 2008 to pair with our home made pizza. We love Primitivo (and/or Zin) and were intrigued by this Italian selection. Castello Monaci is relatively new and it is located in the boot of Italy. It is near the Gates of Salice Salentino. “The tufa (‘rocks’) of local soils contribute structure to the wine, aid in drainage for the vines, and reflect the light, helping the sun’s work for the vines.”
We tasted the wine before pairing with the food. We agreed, fruit forward, very berry nose, cherry and a little tannin. Not like a bold California Zin, but very respectable.
The winemakers notes: “Piluna” translates into “pot of clay” or an ancient container used to store water or wine. This 100% Primitivo is grown from vineyards surrounding the ancient Castello Monaci estate in Puglia. The wine has broad, ripe black fruit and spice aromas, with notes of pepper, toasty vanilla and Mediterranean scrub. On the palate, the wine has a robust, concentrated character, a firm structure, and small black fruit and licorice notes on the aftertaste. Alcohol by volume: 13.5%. (I can’t write something like that!)
“The nose of this 2008 Primitivo is loaded with red raspberry; underneath that hints of vanilla and cedar pop through. The palate is loaded with layer after layer of dry red fruit flavors. Touches of anise and fresh blackberry poke their heads through as well. The finish is relatively long and somewhat lusty. Earth, sour red fruits and cocoa all make their presence know here. Firm acidity keeps everything in check.” We agree, all of the above is true. A great value!!
We paired with the pizza. The tomato sauce brought out the Earthy and cocoa notes described above. It was a perfect pairing. The wine held up well to the mozzeralla, and was further enhanced by the flavors of onion, olives and mushrooms. A thoroughly enjoyable, value wine. Will buy again!