Negroamaro wine guide
Negroamaro is the most important red grape variety of Apulian enology, along with Primitivo of course. There are few areas in Puglia where this ancient vine does not find space to grow and give incredibly structured, but intriguing red wines, full of fruity vivacity, thickness and spices.
Negroamaro is the wine that represents the rebirth of Puglia wine, for too many years relegated to a simple tank of wines created to strengthen the anemic wines of northern Italy and France. By now the production of the Apulian wineries is in great ascent in terms of quality, thanks to a clonal selection that has favored the quality of the grapes, precise and less invasive winemaking techniques and more accurate control of the ripening and yields of the grapes. Fewer grapes are produced per plant, favoring concentration and not so much the smallest productivity.
And this change was fundamental for a full-bodied and alcoholic wine like Negroamaro, famous for centuries for its extraordinary alcohol content, but which often failed to find elegance and precision, but only muscles and sun-baked fruit. But today more than ever the Negroamaro wine lives up to its evocative name, which makes us think of the tannins and flavors of the earth and so we can drink great wines, austere, full, but with depth and nuances, but which need many years of refinement. But this is certainly not a defect.
Of course, if you prefer drinkable, fresh and titillating wines, then you will be happy to discover that many of the splendid Apulian rosé wines are produced with Negroamaro, such as Salice Salentino rosé, where it is blended with Malvasia Nera. Don’t be surprised Negroamaro’s formula, so dark, structured and dense, finds an ideal shoulder in a fragrant, aromatic and elegant wine like Malvasia. Also noteworthy is the red Salice Salentino, very penetrating and mysterious as a wine.
The bouquet of Negroamaro wine
But let’s go back to the characteristics of this great wine from Puglia. The aromas are intense, balsamic, sumptuous and enveloping, but dominated by a dark and austere note of earth and salt, plums and olives and rhubarb. Do not expect a sunny wine like Primitivo, but certainly a very fruity wine, but also spicy with clear hints of pepper, roots, licorice, traces of Mediterranean scrub, eucalyptus, endless flowers and a thousand aromatic herbs. In any case, to recognize it, look for the combination of plum and olive and you will never be very wrong.
What does Negroamaro wine taste like?
On the palate, structure and caloric sensation given by alcohol are immediately perceptible. It is not a subtle wine, on the contrary, it is all played on a delicate balance where a warm and ripe fruit finds momentum in the very juicy and tasty, but decisive tannins and remarkable acidity. In short, it is a wine that has very strong characteristics: strong tannins, very sharp acidity, warmth and roundness given by high alcohol content. Earthy finish with tannins that open and take the face of a thousand roots, licorice, olives and gentian. Salt is never lacking, iodized returns give thickness to the wine and support it, breaking the predominance of the fruit.
Negroamaro is not a wine that is very easy to read, it takes time to do it because it refines and all this extract is transformed into nuances and bevels the corners and develops its tertiary potential, but those who know how to wait will be able to savor a great red, immortal as an evolution, but also very elegant. Just don’t rush.
Negroamaro rosato: the future of Puglia
The rosé Negroamaro, on the other hand, is all played on the pungent delicacy of the fruit: strawberries, wild berries and black cherries will tickle your nose with their charm, while more delicate notes of flowers, undergrowth and eucalyptus frame it. We do not hide it from you, the Apulian rosé wines are among our favorite wines. It’s hard to go wrong, even if you order a jug of rosé at random, they bring it to you iced, very fragrant and pungent, perfect for quenching your thirst or accompanying seafood and grilled fish. There are few wines so immediate and greedy, crunchy and irresistible, inside there is all the charm of the sea and a dark trace that smells of wood. Wines heritage of humanity.
The history of the Negroamaro grape
Consider that Puglia was one of the first colonies of Magna Graecia, together with Calabria it was the land of wine, where they used aqueducts to bring wine from the hills to the valley and then transport it throughout the Mediterranean. However, the news on Negroamaro is scarce and it is only in 1872 that the first written source is found. The most plausible theory is that it is a native since the name in dialect would be niuru maru, which is black and bitter, its two main characteristics.
Production areas of Negroamaro wine
In Puglia it is ubiquitous, it is the king of all the region’s enology: Bari, Brindisi, Lecce and Taranto, every province loves it. You can find it blended with Malvasia in what is one of the most important DOCs such as the red or rosé Salice Salentino, in the DOC Alezio. DOC Brindisi, DOC Cupertino, DOC Galatina, DOC Gioia del Colle, DOC Leverzano, DOC Lizzano, DOC Martino, DOC Nardò, DOC Ostuni, in the DOC Rosso di Cerignola and DOC Squinzano.
It was once present throughout southern Italy and for this reason, it has taken on various names, adapting to every corner of the country: Albese, Abruzzese, Jonico, Lacrima, Purcinara and Uva Ulivella.
Negroamaro food pairings
With these colossal tannins, it is clearly a wine to pair with meat and BBQ preparations, even smoked dishes such as pulled pork, brisket, lamb kebabs, gnocchi with Bolognese, hamburgers, baked lasagna, truffle risotto, pasta Amatriciana .