Appellation: Columbia Valley
In the U.S. wine community, the third Wednesday of each November has come to be known as National Zinfandel Day, and the grape is most celebrated in California where it enjoys the warm growing conditions to properly ripen its notoriously tight clusters. (Go to YouTube and search “Zinfandel, Paso Wine Man” for a fun and inspiring video.) Richard Batchelor, a Kiwi who spent a decade in Sonoma and Napa, is into his second decade as the winemaker for Craig and Vicki Leuthold, and this example of Zin is a reflection of a warm year and proper site selection. Dark and inky, it brags with aromatics of blackberry, black pepper and licorice. Its massive intensity arrives with austere tannins and black plums, dark chocolate, a pinch of violets and dash of brown sugar on the hedonistic finish. This fall, it earned a gold medal at the 2020 Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition, a judging staged at the historic Columbia Gorge Hotel in Hood River, Ore., on behalf of sommeliers, wine merchants and journalists from across the country.
Rated “Outstanding!” by Great Northwest Wine.
Production: 1,200 cases
Food pairings: Primitivo is a delicious fit for Italian-inspired fare based on tomato sauce — including pizza — spicy barbecue, burgers, aged cheese, grilled chicken and brats.
Maryhill Winery Tasting Room & Bistro operates four tasting rooms across Washington state.
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Great Northwest Wine