Monday, August 9, 2010

MATANE PRIMITIVO PUGLIA 2007


Matane at Pane E Vino

A night out with a couple of friends can hardly go wrong, but the right place for the meeting can boost an already enjoyable event to a higher plane.  Jones and Maggie met Denise and me for dinner at Pane E Vino, on Beverly in Los Angeles.  We've known Jones forever, but Maggie is a recent addition to our list of friends - and a welcome one.

We recently rediscovered Pane E Vino and it has quickly become one of our "go-to" Italian eateries.  Great food and service are abetted by a wine list that has yet to let me down.
Jones is always quick to defer to my judgment on wine selection.  It's one of the reasons I like him so much.  Should I tell him that when he follows my lead, it's usually for a wine I've never tried before?  He liked this Primitivo just fine, so I think we'll wait on that revelation a while longer.  By the way, in the photo that is his fish being fileted in the background.
The MatanĂ© Primitivo is grown and produced in Puglia, the "heel of the boot" on Italy's map. It's an IGT wine, and consists of 100% Primitivo grapes.  A collaborative effort from the Empson family and winemaker Filippo Baccalaro,  this Italian red was a nice find and paired very well with a simple rigatoni and light tomato sauce dish.
The MatanĂ© shows a medium-tinted red with some purple tones in the mix.  The only disappointment is a somewhat faint nose.  What is there, is laden with cherry and smells very fresh, though.  On the palate, there are lots of spices clamoring for attention among full and fruity cherry and raspberry notes.  A good bit of earthiness is also present.  A slightly smoky finish tops off the fruit very nicely.  The wine feels about medium-full in the mouth, has very nice tannins and is quite smooth.