M&S: Notte Rossa Primitivo di Manduria

A fascinating wine all round, from Southern Italy in the M&S range. Firstly, there’s the Primitivo grape, which is better known in the US as Zinfandel, but it’s actually Croatian, where it’s the unpronounceable Crljenak Kastelanski (“red grape of Kastela”). Secondly, it’s aged in a mix of French and American oak, so we chat a little about the differences each type of barrel makes on the flavour profile of the wine.

More importantly, it’s a cracker too, especially for a tenner. If you like Californian Zin, then it will be interesting for you to try an Old World take on the same grape. And if you want to know why some red wines taste of vanilla and cream whereas others are more spicy and tannic, then watch for more.

In terms of food matches, red meat, with or without sauce, and pasta dishes with strong flavours would sing with this wine.

For both quality and interest level, we’re confident this is a WES 9. Lots of reasons to recommend people try it and a great palette tester too.

You can buy half cases (6 bottles) on the M&S website or its widely available in stores.