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Award-winning Zinfandel & Primitivo: 15 to try

To celebrate National Zinfandel Day, we highlight a selection of top-scoring Zinfandel and Primitivo wines from the Decanter World Wine Awards to discover.

From rich and robust Californian Zinfandel to cherry-scented, spicy Puglian Primitivo, results from the Decanter World Wine Awards 2022 highlight the wide range of styles produced from this often underrated grape variety.

Believed to be the same grape variety, Zinfandel is closely associated and a near-native grape variety of California, and Primitivo with Puglia, but award-winning wines from the 2022 competition can also be found from winegrowing regions in Canada to Israel and Bulgaria.

Scroll down to see the top Zinfandel & Primitivo wines from DWWA 2022

Though elegant, fruity and powerful styles exist, quality-focused examples of Zinfandel and Primitivo tend to include brambly red and black berry flavours alongside spice, sometimes with vanilla or chocolatey notes from oak.

This year’s highest scoring Primitivo was Gold medal winner Antica Enotria, Vriccio 2020 from Puglia. Showing clear varietal character and typicity, the DWWA judges noted its blueberry and dried cherry aromas, juicy palate and savoury, refreshing finish.

From the US, Seghesio Family Vineyards was the competition’s top-scoring varietal Zinfandel, awarded 93 points and a Silver medal for its Old Vine Zinfandel 2018 from Sonoma County, California.

To celebrate National Zinfandel Day this 16 November, we highlight 15 medal winners below, all 90+ points and worth a try.

What will you be toasting with? Share with us on social @Decanter and @DecanterAwards

Award-winning Zinfandel & Primitivo: 20 to try


Puglia, Italy

Antica Enotria, Vriccio 2020

Gold, 95 points
Fresh aromas of blueberries, mulberries, dried cherries and plums with jammy and rasiny touch. Very juicy on the palate, with a savoury, refreshing finish. Alc 14%

Cantina Coppola, Patitari, Salento 2016

Silver, 93 points
Nicely evolved bouquet of almonds, plums and complex notes of dried herbs, leather and oriental spices. Classic and dry, elegant. Alc 14%

San Giorgio, Prine Organic 2019

Silver, 92 points
Lush strawberry and fig jam on the nose, with spicy and thyme nuances. Brambly fruit on the palate, quite appealing. Alc 14%

Cantine Paradiso, Darione 2020

Silver, 91 points
Minty aromas with herbal touches, showing aromas of fresh and dried black fruits, with vanilla hints. Juicy texture, rich. Alc 14%

Dott. Luigi Rubino, Marmorelle, Primitivo di Manduria 2020

Silver, 91 points
Attractive and charming nose of chocolate, raisins, jammy red fruits and candied dark cherries. Fresh on the palate, savoury and intense. Alc 14.5%

Masseria Cuturi, Monte Diavoli, Primitivo di Manduria 2017

Silver, 91 points
Lots of kirsch and prunes with notes of curry, cloves and star anise. Refined dry attack, with a savoury character. Alc 16.5%

Tenute Chiaromonte, Contrada Scappagrano 2019

Silver, 91 points
Elegant notes of cherries, plums, tobacco, cinnamon, dark chocolate and smoky undertones. Round on the palate, long aftertaste and tamed tannins. Alc 14.5%

Uone, Primitivo di Manduria 2021

Silver, 91 points
Earthy aromas with plenty of fresh crunchy fruits on the nose. Silky textured tannins on the palate, with a long finish. Alc 14%

Cantine Barsento, Casaboli Riserva, Gioia del Colle 2019

Silver, 90 points
Expressive notes of vanilla and coconut with sweet dark cherry and raisin aromas. Quite concentrated and warm, with fine-grained tannins. Alc 14.5%

Cantina Danese, Primitivo 2021

Silver, 90 points
Vibrant strawberry, raspberry and red plum aromas on the nose with hints of tobacco. Medium body, good vibrancy and length. Alc 14%

Cantina San Donaci, Passo Lungo Primitivo 2020

Silver, 90 points
Ripe red fruit, with hints of orange peel, cinnamon, dark cherries and plums. Rich and round on the palate. Alc 13.5%

Claudio Quarta Vignaiolo, Oro di Eméra, Primitivo di Manduria 2020

Silver, 90 points
Blue damson and plum on the nose, there is some real purity and restraint. Dry and robust, full and ripe. Alc 15%


California, USA

Seghesio Family Vineyards, Old Vine Zinfandel, Sonoma County 2018

Silver, 93 points
Expressive red fruit, toasted cumin and spice nose. Riper palate with gamey flavours and fruit continuing on the finish. A fine wine. Alc 15.4%

Langetwins, Centennial Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi 2017

Silver, 92 points
Rose and violet floral nose with black cherry and spice. Big, structured, and long with gripping tannins. An ambitious wine of quality. Alc 15%

Ken & Derek, Crowdpleazin Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley 2020

Silver, 91 points
Lovely, bright nose of cherry, blueberry, bramble. Vibrant palate with crunchy fruit on the finish, delivers with verve. Alc 15.8%

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