Primitivo's rough translation is "early one". (Fun Fact, Tempranillo means the same thing in Spanish.) Not just being a clever name, Primitivo tends to ripen earlier than Zinfandel. The plus side of this is that it usually produces wines with lower alcohol content that are easier to drink. For me, I used to love a huge zin that gave me a headache in the morning. Now a days, this is not the case.
Primitivo in my opinion shows more fruit and it a plumper wine than your California Zinfandel. Don't get me wrong, it is no pushover. There is still a little spice on the finish. Because of the fruit that it shows, it pairs easier with more foods. I always pull out Primitivo whenever my family is eating a pepperoni or sausage pizza.
Primitivo is finding it's place in more vineyards these days. There are plantings in California (You actually may find Zinfandel/Primitivo blends these days) as well as Washington state. The traditional Primitivo comes from Puglia, Italy. If you are a visual person, it is the heel of Italy.
Petraio Primitivo in a Nutshell:
Description: 100% Primitivo. Deep purple in color. Blackberry and Black Cherry fruit shown. A touch of clove and spice on a smooth finish.
Pairings: My favorite is pizza with meat and red sauce. Also would go great with Lasagna or a big bowl of Spaghetti and Meat Sauce.
Vintages/Price: Current vintage is 2010. One of the best parts of this wine is that you'll find it for less than $9 a bottle.
For more information, please visit http://www.tmarchettico.com/Petraio_PrimitivoDiPuglia.pdf