Grifone Primitivo Review | Trader Joe’s Wine

Grifone Primitivo 2012 | Trader Joe’s Wine

Grifone Primitivo

While checking out the incredible wine selections at Trader Joe’s I asked the knowledgeable wine specialist on staff what he thought were the absolute top values and the Grifone Primitivo was at the very top of the list. Out of hundreds of wines, the Grifone Primitivo topped the list you say? And so I had to try it myself…

Despite being called “A California Original, grown nowhere else” by wine writers in the late 1970’s , Primitivo, also known as Zinfandel, existed long before Zinfandel ever did in California. In fact, its origins can be traced to a single vine in the garden of an elderly lady’s Croatian Garden as early as the 15th century.

This particular example produced from old vines hails from Puglia in the ‘heel’ of southern Italy. But before you walk all over the Grifone Primitivo because of its modest under $5 price, let’s give it a shot…

Grifone Primitivo

Appearance: Medium garnet red

Nose: Sweet brambly red fruit, licorice, toasty oak and spice.

On the palate: Medium bodied and quite quaffable. There are notes of briary strawberries, raspberries and black cherries supported by toasty oak. While the fruit has a slight sweetness to it this finishes dry and spicy with lively acidity and just a touch of grittiness on the finish.

Varietal Composition: 100% Zinfandel

Vintage: 2012

Origin: Puglia, Italy

Value Rating:  4.75 / 5     

Where I got it: Trader Joes (Clarendon, Virginia)

Price: $4.99

Score: 85

Should you buy? Yes! While not perfect, at under $5 in the Trader Joe’s Wine Section the Grifone Primitivo is pretty tasty and has real Zinfandel character.

Grifone Primitivo

Value Proposition – Grifone Primitivo 2012 | Trader Joe’s Wine

As is often widely accepted amongst wine lovers, having a fondness for good wine is not an inexpensive hobby. It is exceedingly rare to be able to find those bottles that are easy to find and won’t break the bank. It’s even less common to have the added convenience of being able to buy them at your local grocery and when they still manage to drink above their price point at full retail!

The Grifone Primitivo does just that. At $5 per bottle this Italian gem could easily stand up to several wines that cost $9 to $10. If it weren’t for the slightly gritty finish, this would have scored even higher. And while I don’t expect this to be an age-worthy wine, the finish could certainly mellow out with a bit more time in the bottle. Having said that, this still makes a great weeknight sipper or would serve you very well with a meal.

It’s easy to see why the Grifone Primitivo is one of the very top value wines in the Trader Joe’s Wine Section and it’s refreshing to know that if you know where to look, good wines can still be had on the cheap!

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17 thoughts on “Grifone Primitivo Review | Trader Joe’s Wine

  1. Pingback: Guide to Trader Joes Wine Prices With Top Selections - The Fermented Fruit

  2. eg

    Just purchased 2013 version and I must say I do not like it all. I am not a sophisticated wine drinker but I just did not like the briny taste I enjoy a lighter wine

    1. The Fermented Fruit Post author

      I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy this wine. Wines can change considerably from vintage to vintage but this was a relatively bold wine in the 2012 vintage. Have you tried Beaujolais or Pinot Noir?

  3. Y.P.

    Thanks for this review – we have enjoyed this red for years and have also given at gifts (to an Italian Family who make their own wine in Canada) and folks continue to thank us! Great review – and cool blog!!

  4. Sonofawhatthe?

    I make a point NOT to tell folks about the wines I like at Trader Joe’s as I don’t want to create supply / demand issues 🙂 But from what I’ve read on your blog our tastes are very similar. Good stuff!

  5. Frank DeVone

    Thanks for the great tip. Enjoying a great bottle of 2014 epicurio primitivo from Trader Joe’s. I spent $6.99 plus tax in Princeton, NJ.

  6. David Siemens

    Saw this two weeks ago as a possible due to the price point and the old vine zin designation. So, I bought a bottle. Uncorked it, Tried it. Then I went back later in the week and bought another case. Went this week and bought another 6 bottles. For an inexpensive tipple, this stuff rocks. Is it a $60 Bordeaux? No, of course not. But for a nightly accompaniment to din-din, the stuff is well over its price point.


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