Mayerdale Primitivo 2011 $5.99

Produced and Bottled by Garnier Vineyards
ABV 14.9%
Purchased 4-4-2015, Lebanon OR GO

I’m guessing that Mayerdale is Garnier Vineyard’s second label. None of these wines are listed on their site, but it is very clearly printed on the back of the bottle that they are the producer. The labels are almost identical to Garnier as well.

FullSizeRenderPrimitivo is apparently genetically identical to Zinfandel. I don’t have much data on it. Some say that the name has been changed but it is the same grape; some say that it is a hybrid twin. But most agree that it is chemically and physically identical in properties.

I’m rather ambivalent re: Zinfandel. Sometimes its way too jammy for me. I like it with food (burgers mostly) or bbq on occasion. But I wanted to try this, since it’s the first one I’ve seen labeled Primitivo.

The cork is a composite or some sort of rubber material and as soon as we popped it, the room just smelled like blackberries. It has a very lush, fruity fragrance.

Tastewise, it is very similar to what you’d expect from Zinfandel. Black cherry, chocolate, blackberry…it’s not as jammy as I’m used to though, and it has a bit of an edge (almost like someone added some tart apples into the mix) making the wine taste rather dryish…there’s also some alcohol heat going on, so it bites back a bit. I bet this would wear off though, with some decanting.  Color is a good plummy/burgundy mix.

Overall, I liked this one (see update below) because it showed a bit of character (although lacking in some things I enjoy in Zinfandel, like that espresso taste or a bit of truffle) and it was fruity without being a fruit bomb (and it didn’t get cloying). It’s not really a traditional Zinfandel (body isn’t as creamy as the CA Zin I’m used to) and yet it is unmistakably Zinfandel…I’d buy another one if I had time before the sale ends.

UPDATE: just an update on this one…day two it didn’t really smooth out. On day one, like an earlier commenter mentioned, it was a bit disjointed and acidic. I still liked it, thought it showed potential…but on day two, while it was a bit more cohesive, it was also a bit more like too-tart fruit. Kind of a bummer. I was hoping it would have smoothed and kept some character. We did notice fruit on day one but just not “in your face” style, but because it was so hot/disjointed, we only had half a glass, hoping it would evolve…I’m adjusting my rating to drinkable.

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5 thoughts on “Mayerdale Primitivo 2011 $5.99

  1. permiesworld Post author

    I updated this after day two. Turns out Joe’s predictions were pretty close. We still tasted fruit but it did not smooth out after a night of it being corked (about 2/3 of a bottle).

    Reply
  2. Rod

    from the Wine Spectator:
    Genetically, these two grapes are extremely similar—it took some DNA fingerprinting to figure it out—but Primitivo and Zinfandel are actually both clones of a Croatian grape called Crljenak.

    The only Primitivos I have tasted are from the foothills of El Dorado County. Good ones (imho) taste like vanilla, caramel and a little roasted nut. Bad ones taste like grapefruit! I have never got that from a Zinfadel.

    Reply
    1. permiesworld Post author

      Interesting…I can see where there could be a grapefruit taste instead of the tart apples…very interesting. This one doesn’t at all taste like vanilla or caramel or nuts.

      Reply
  3. Joe Spencer

    To be honest, I can’t say that I agree about this wine. I love Zins (Ridge Z’s may be one of the best values in wine today). Even after substantial air, I found this wine to have virtually no fruit (not just not jammy, but no fruit) whatsoever, and with a lot of acid to boot. I would definitely not buy more.
    BTW–We’ve heard for years that Primitvo is the Euro version of Zin. I don’t think that is true; it is really an obscure Croatian variety called Crljenak.
    See this link:
    http://www.wineloverspage.com/randysworld/zinfandel.shtml
    I’d be interested to know what others think.

    Reply
    1. permiesworld Post author

      You know, it could be because I’m not really a Zin fan, that I liked it more than maybe a Zin lover would? There is a lot of acid here, for sure. Sorry you didn’t enjoy it, Joe. Thanks for chiming in. It’s good to have perspective from others.

      Reply

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