Wine review: Castello Monaci Piluna Primitivo 2008

Yet another wine that the Wine Curmdugeon judged before tasting — and was, as usual, completely wrong about.

Though I had my reasons. Really. The PR materials that came with the Piluna ($13, sample) were, to be kind, a bit overwrought. They included a line that said, "Here spreads the sun which floods the land with light. …" I've been writing professionally for too long to take that well. Plus, I'm wary of Italian primitivo, which was one of the varietals of the moment before the wine business crashed in 2008. I wonder how much primitivo is sitting in distributor warehouses, gathering dust, never to be heard from again.

Though, of course, neither of those had anything to do with what the wine tasted like. Maybe that should be my New Year's wine resolution: Drink the wine before you write about it, stupid. So, needless to say, the Piluna was a pleasant surprise. Though it had more oak than it needed, there was lots of very impressive black fruit, and the necessary amount of acid to balance it. I drank it with roast chicken, and it paired well. It would also work with beefy winter braises and stews.

One other thought: The wine comes from Puglia, in the Italian boot heel. This should have been a clue the wine was worthwhile; the blog's favorite wine, Tormaresca Neprica, comes from Puglia (as does its sister chardonnay). Like I said, stupid.

5 thoughts on “Wine review: Castello Monaci Piluna Primitivo 2008

  • By Alfonso - Reply

    Puliga? huh?

  • By Jeff Siegel - Reply

    What, I’m not entitled to a typo every once in a while? Fixed.

  • By Cinzia by Stile Mediterraneo Puglia - Reply

    Hello Jeff, I am so pleased you wrote about Piluna, which is definetely among my favorite wines from Puglia (I am from Puglia and I know lots of them).
    I love it! and I have not found a single person who does not, after tasting it.
    I am surprised you say it has more oak than it needed. Only 30% of the wine you find in each bottle goes into barrique, which is also made of French oak. I love this wine because everything is balanced.
    Being the vineyards so close by the beautiful sea, I also appreciate what in Italian we call “salmastro” flavor: sort of salty taste you have by the sea (the oenologist made me appreciate it).
    PS I have nothing to do with this winery. I just know the winery well and I am a fan of their Piluna wine.

  • By Jeff Siegel - Reply

    Thanks for the kind words. Maybe I’m jsut fussy about oak — who knows. It’s funny; I don’t get the salty bit, and I taste a lot of those wines. I’ll have tio taste harder next time.

  • By truus - Reply

    boring wine tasts like junk

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