Masseria Li Veli Orion Primitivo Salento 2016

In the mood for a zesty zinfandel? Consider (strongly) an Italian rendition, the Masseria Li Veli Orion Primitivo Salento 2016 ($15). (Primitivo and zinfandel are basically the same grape.) Fresh red fruits and tropical spices dominate the nose and the outset on the palate before some serious oomph kicks in. The smooth, layered fruit-acid harmony persists through a surprisingly lengthy finish. This red beauty emanates from the sun-splashed region of Puglia, the “heel” of Italy, and is less spendy than comparable zins from California. Go for a grows-together/goes-together pairing, such as spaghetti puttanesca or any pasta or pizza with tomato sauce.

Available at East Lake, Northbound, Ace, Liquor Boy, Lowertown, Wine Republic and others.

Bill Ward