TOP 96pt Old-Vine Primitivo: 2015 Morella Primitivo “La Signora” IGP

This is going to sound a little crazy, but if you’ve ever had the opportunity to get a close look at an old bush vine, you might understand. Bush grapevines are free-standing with no trellis system. When a bush vine is old, its trunk gets thick and beautifully craggy. It looks like a wise elder with something very important to tell you, some wisdom to impart. And this is (maybe) the crazy part. There’s a good chance you’ll want to sit down in the soil next to the vine, put your ear close, and listen. 

The 96-point 2015 Morella Primitivo La Signora IGP comes from a single vineyard of 55-year-old dry-grown bush vines that are sustainably and biodynamically farmed. The vineyard is in the beautiful Puglian region of Manduria, right in the middle of the Salento peninsula. Maritime breezes come from both the Adriatic Sea and the Ionian Sea, refreshing the vineyard that sits upon terra Rossa, limestone soil that turns red from iron oxidized fossils. 

The best Primitivo is aged a bit to give its high tannins some time to settle down. This 2015 was aged in new French barriques for 12 months and then bottled for at least 24 months before release. Now, 7 years later, those tannins have had plenty of time to get in balance with its powerful flavors of black cherry and prune fruits, tobacco, and chocolate. This is one of the best Primitivos we’ve had in a long time. With its 96 points, Decanter extols its “remarkable balance,” and says “Bravo!”

Winemaker Lisa Gilbee fell in love with the old vines of the region in 1992, and together with her husband bought the vineyards that contained these old Primitivo vines (that were a bit younger then). They named the vineyard that these wines come from “La Signora,” and the bush vines there have, as they describe them, elegant reaching, twisted arms, every vine with its own design formed in its long battle with survival.”

You better believe those vines have a story to tell, and that story is in this bottle. You don’t have to break the bank to hear the story. BHW has La Signora for the Lowest Price Anywhere, and it’s over 50% off! It’s under $30. It’s ready to drink. It’s ready to speak to you.

2016 Whitehall Lane Leonardini Estate Cabernet Sauvignon