Tenute Rubino Palombara Primitivo di Manduria, Puglia, Italy DOC, 2019

Deep garnet color; dark fruits, blackberry jam, plum, cherry, strawberry, licorice on the nose and palate.

Tenute Rubino Palombara Primitivo di Manduria, Puglia, Italy DOC, 2019

Dry; soft tannins and acidity. Primitivo is same grape as zinfandel, but the wines are subtly different in Puglia (the boot heel of Italy) and California. In this case, it is smoother and jammier with a bit less alcohol considering the juiciness of the fruit that gives this an illusion of sweetness. Medium-plus body. Could use more tannic structure and acidity, but appreciate it for the jammy, fruity, palate pleaser that it is. 14.5%

Tommaso Rubino established the winery in the early 1980s. The website asserts Rubino was “the first to recognize the modern viticultural potential of a territory with such an important past.” That entrepreneurial spirit is carried on today by his son, Luigi, who is an international spokesperson for Italian wine.

Tenute Rubino principals Luigi and Romina Leopardi

Romina Leopardi shares in Luigi’s mission. The website notes: “Luigi’s partner in both life and business. They first met at work, sharing an entrepreneurial path centered on communication, internationalization and organization. She shares Luigi’s core beliefs which shape her approach to everything she does: the value of human capital, training and business culture, and multiculturalism as a generator of wealth and empowerment for youth and women inside and outside the business sector.”

The website notes the history of its location: “Winemaking is an ancient art here in Jaddico: over the years, archaeologists have brought to light a Roman manor house filled with kilns, where Visellio—the owner of the estate—fired the amphorae used to export his wine to the four corners of the Roman Empire. At the time, this land was home to extensive vineyards and served as an important manufacturing center for wine containers.”

Tenute Rubino principals Tommaso Rubino, Luigi Rubino

Tenute Rubino Palombara Primitivo di Manduria, Puglia, Italy DOC, 2019 is a tasty iteration of what is called zinfandel in the U.S. What it lacks in structure and complexity, it makes up for in lip-smacking deliciousness. Plenty of soft dark fruits, smooth, easy drinker. No bumps from tannins, acidity, or excessive alcohol on the road to sipping pleasure. Pair with beef; lamb, pasta dishes; baked, barbecue chicken. Especially works with sweet and savory sauces on grilled meats—beef, pork, chicken. Comfort food—burgers, meatloaf, mac & cheese, pasta dishes with tomato sauces. Cheese—mature cheeses; pecorino, parmigiano, manchego, cheddar, smoked gouda, grilled halloumi. $18-23

Tenute Rubino website