Negroamaro wine grape

Negroamaro
One of the three black grapes from Puglia in Italy’s south-west, along with Primitivo and Nero di Troia.  Negroamaro means “black bitter”, which is something of a misnoner because its wines rarely taste bitter, although they are most certainly dark.  The second half of its name may in fact be derived from the Ancient Greek maru, an alternate form of mavro, which means ‘black’.
 
This black-black grape has its heartland in the Salento peninsula, Italy’s heel, especially along its north-eastern, Adriatic, side, where a string of DOCs are based on it.  Salice Salentino is perhaps the best known, but Squinzano and Copertino are also exported in significant quantities.  There are a host of others not much seen outside the region, and much Negroamaro production is today varietally labelled (with the grape name) and sold under the catch-all Salento IGP.
 
It produces spicy, red-fruited wine, often with dried fruit flavours.  Being intensely fruity but not very acidic or tannic, its wines are very approachable young.  Most should be drunk within five years of the vintage, but they’s so attractive young that this isn’t usually a problem.  It also produces fine rosé, as grapes with deep colour, full fruit and soft tannins tend to do.
 

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