Zonin ‘Primo Amore’ Sangiovese-Merlot

February 10, 2009

I should have known that Valentine’s Day was coming when I saw this wine in my local MLCC. It wasn’t so much the name as the picture of the black (indigo?) rose on the label. Sheesh. It made me long for my old Siouxsie and the Banshees records.

But $12ish for a Sangiovese blend from a reputable producer isn’t bad. So 80’s goth flashbacks aside, I picked up a bottle last weekend.

First note, it’s from Sicily. That’s new. I didn’t realize there was a lot of Sangiovese growing down there. In the glass, it showed off a beautiful colour, more purple than red. The nose displayed some hints of spices along with the expected cherries (it is a Sangiovese blend after all). So far, so good.


In the mouth, I picked up more spices and cherries with well-balanced tannins and a really interesting hint of earthiness. Decent finish too, it went very well with the tomato sauce I served over some fresh pasta (thank you DeLuca’s) with steamed broccolini and tuna.


I kept it in the fridge overnight and on the second day, I found that chilling it was a good idea. This brought down the tannins and lifted the acidity a bit. But even at room temperature, there was still plenty of zip to this wine and a nice medium-bodied weight to it. There was very little loss of flavour too, just a hint more earthiness and a little less fruit than on the first day.


The Zonin website shows the blend to be 60% Sangiovese and 40% Merlot, and they also have a Pinot Grigio under the same Primo Amore label (which I believe is also available at the MLCC).


The verdict? Look past the kitschy label and you’ll find a well-priced, food-friendly and very tasty wine. Zonin has done a good job with this wine and I’d recommend it


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