The Negramaro is an indigenous grape from Puglia and in specific from the Salento area. Let’s start from its name. Why Negroamaro? There are plenty of versions of the reason why of this name. Considering that the Negroamaro is one of the oldest vine in Italy. ci sono varie versioni. The widely held theory is that its name comes from the latin “Negro” which referers to its dark color (almost black) and “Amaro” (bitter) for the big quantity of tannins that give to this wine body and a bitter note like a bitter almond. The second held theory comes from the fusion of two languages: greak and latin. The greek word “mavros” and the latin word “niger” that both mean “nero” (black). It is a grape very versatile, perfect for brut and for rosè. It is a very delicate grape. It fears the excessive heat, this is the reason why some producer use the guyot pruning method to protect the grape from the sun rays and from the excessive heat.
The Negroamaro grape gives excellent results if produced in the brut version. This version will gives a very persistent fresh fruit note and it is perfect for summer “Aperitif”. The rosè version of the Negroamaro is wonderful like a beautiful sunset and the main characteristic is a very intense note of roses. They are very fresh and sapid and you can accompany them with some aged cheese.
Even though the Brut and the Rosè version of the Negroamaro come out really well, the best expression of it is still the Negroamaro produced in red. It is a very deep red tending to black. Notes of red berries, prune, spices, cocoa and tobacco. The perfect match with a glass of Negroamaro are cold cuts or aged cheeses.
This is a wine that I personally love. I tasted plenty of them and I would like to share with you few bottles to take into consideration and to try:
A -Mano is a Negroamaro coming from a single vineyard in the Salento area. It is an old vineyard, guyot pruning and with no irrigation system. It is a beautiful ruby red tending to purple. On the nose we have an explosion of red berries, spices and tobacco. A very elegant wine with great tannins that can age beautifully for at least 20 years. What I suggest is to buy this wine and to keep it and let it age for few years. You can taste a perfect example of “Burgundy from Salento”. Match it with mix grilled meat.
Tomegna – Giuliani is a winery in the heart of Murgia, with 70 years of production behind them. Their philosophy is to enhance the history of the area and the indigenous variety of grapes like the Negroamaro. A bright ruby red with notes of red berries, cherry, black cherry and plum with a spice note which enriches its aroma. Match it with pasta with ragù or grilled meat. If you want a perfect pairing, match it white meat cooked in the oven. Severino Garofano – In Copertino, in the heart of Salento, Severino Garofano established his winery which philosophy is to create a product that respect the traditions and the nature of this land. From this winery I will suggest you two wines:
Simpotica: Why a Greek name for an Italian wine? To drink in good company , was one of the most important way to socialize in the Ancient Greek. The symposium was one of the part of the banqueting. Poems were read at the end of the banquet, which represented a way to reach a collective gratification. The majority of forms of entertainment comes from drinking. An engraving on a Potoria Cup from the V cent. b.C. was reporting the words mentioned as follows: “Be happy and drink well”. The Simpotica is a wine with an intense ruby red color. Liquorice, raspberry and sage. It has a very distinctive flavour, elegant tannins and a pronounced sapidity. A great final, almost like a fairy tale.
Le Braci: Deep red color with purple hints. Elegant, delicate, it gives to the nose an intense bouquet. The over-ripening of the grapes gives a complex structure. The aging in small barrels will stabilize the color, will smooth the tannins and the wine will develops a great opulence and complexity. On the nose we have flowers and fruit in evidence with plum, red berries, mint, liquorice, vanilla and spices. It has an interesting aftertaste of bitter almond typical of the Negroamaro.
Leone de Castris – The production starts with Piero and Lisetta Leone de Castris, in 1925. In 1943 they came out with a great wine called Five Roses. This is the first rosato to be bottled and exported in the United States. Five Roses, Soft foam with a very delicate and persistent perlage. A beautiful old pink with some coppery reflex. On the nose it is elegant, with notes of red berries with a great note of bread crust. On the palate is very delicate and fresh. Perfect as an Aperitif and with shellfish dishes, cold cuts and cheeses.