I was initially puzzled by the 2012 version of this wine, but was absolutely smitten by the 2013 Primitivo di Manduria Es. This is a bruiser with an inky black consistency and impenetrable appearance with dark plum, raisin, blackberry, licorice, rum cake, cherry liqueur, grilled herb and teriyaki sauce. This wine is definitely the Romano Dal Forno Amarone of Southern Italy. It offers similar intensity and opulence and a stylistic signature that is both distinctive and impossible to imitate. Sweet tannins and bold intensity wrap over the palate in thick waves. The close is lavish, opulent and overstated. This is a wine of grand promises that will appeal to those who are not faint of heart. Gianfranco Fino delivers the power and the emotion of Puglia, no holds barred. It took me a very long time to wrap my head around Gianfranco Fino's Primitivo di Manduria Es. Ultimately, I surrendered to its monumental hugeness and its exaggerated extremities. This is a wine that goes against all the rules we learn when reviewing wines. The extraction is huge, the bouquet is all over the place and the alcohol sears deep into your palate. But for some mysterious reason, it all makes perfect sense. Of all the wines produced in Puglia today, none is more symbolic of the region than Es. Thanks to his achievements, Gianfranco Fino is the man of the moment.