Negroamaro, an Italian value

The heart and soul of Salice Salentino

 


The heel of Southern Italy, Puglia, is virtually paved with vines. Breaking up the vines are vast olive groves for the production of oil. These two resources not only guaranteed the economic viability of the region but, have served as sustenance as well for over two millenia.

The Greeks settled these lands long ago, calling what was to become Southern Italy "Enotria": Land of the vines. While some things have changed over the intervening years, much has remained the same. The famed conical houses called "I Trulli" remain, as do the vast vineyards, much of them planted to Negroamaro a great, indigenous variety.

What to expect: Negroamaro

Negroamaro - Black and bitter in Italian, not surprisingly has origins in  Southern Italy's Puglia region. An important grape, both on it's own, and as a blending grape. It contributes a rich, slightly rustic mouthfeel to a finished wine and imbues it with a slightly burnt, earthy quality that accentuates the deep, roasted plum and mocha toned fruit.
Negoramaro has gained it's fame based primarily on the blended wines of Salento: Salice Salentino. Here the brute force of Negroamaro is tempered by the sweet, aromatic and lush qualities of Malvasia Nera. The results are spendidly Southern, full of the herbs, and baked soils of Puglia with zesty berry tones and tannins polished and softened by the luxurious wamth of the region.

These are wines born of necessity, and, as is so often the case, form a perfect marriage with the local cuisine. When you're thinking of a regional specialty, like  roast lamb, broccoli rabe and a puree of fava beans for example, make sure some Negroamaro is part of this festa Pugliese!

Two wines that epitomize Negroamaro and offer great value.

2001 Cosimo Taurino Notarpanaro
In the mouth this has surprisingly bright acids and melting tannins supporting the fading notes of dried raspberries and dates. With air this gains more savory, barnyardy notes and softens up considerably. Excellent for the short term and a perfect match for a nice, gamy, lamb stew!

2006 Castello Monaci Liante Salice Salentino
The wine retains classic tarry notes on the nose that compliment the boysenberry and dried plum fruit tones, but on the palate this is dark with spicy notes from barrel ageing accenting the dried cherry and chocolate tones. A modernish take on Salice, but Negroamaro is not a grape easily tamed.


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Comments

  • Snooth User: Mark Angelillo
    Founding Member Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    2 6,362

    I don't think I've had any Negroamaro yet. For such an important sounding variety it seems like an oversight. I'll try to correct that soon.

    Oct 07, 2009 at 2:22 PM


  • Snooth User: dmcker
    Hand of Snooth
    125836 7,715

    Thanks for the pointers. I've always found southern Italy (Campagna down to the heel and toe of the boot, not including Sicily) to be a tough nut to crack. Lots of refreshing whites, but problematic reds. Without a guide I've found too many shallow or seemingly backwards bottles, red and white. Again, thanks for a new starting point, though there isn't much available in this part of the world, so may have to wait for my next trip to Italy.

    Am curious. By 'tarry', to you mean slow and reticent in opening, or tasting like asphaltic tar?

    Oct 07, 2009 at 4:02 PM


  • Dear Snooth
    It is surprising how you claim to be the most succesfull web wine community and that you have also been travelling in the "APUGLIA" region but...... where is it exactly? In Italy? I am sorry it is not
    You dont even know how to spell it......
    In italian you would write PUGLIA and in english APULIA.
    At least google it or travel in real PUGLIA region and take a look at road signals....
    Best regards
    Nazareno Mario Ciccarello ( An Italian wine passionate ..... not even from Puglia region )

    nazarenomariociccarello@hotmail.com

    P.S. At least you could have asked the wine producer to check the spelling....

    Oct 07, 2009 at 5:25 PM


  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 217,192

    Thank you for pointing out a spelling error.

    Dmcker, By tarry I mean the wine has an asphalt like darkness to the fruit which typically shows some roasted quality. It's not the overt tarriness of Nebbiolo for example.

    Good luck finding an example or two. I know that a friend has been importing some of the wines to South Korea. Perhaps they will filter over your way.

    Oct 07, 2009 at 6:06 PM


  • Snooth User: dhbuckley
    189499 7

    Hi guys. You have a nice thing going on here and good luck with it. I do have a piece of advice, though. Use spell-check. On your mails there is no excuse to have typos: "sustanence" for "sustenance", "indiginous" for "indigenous".

    This is too good a thing to be cheapened by bad typos and I say this with best wishes.

    Btw, they were both in the mail about negroamaro, a grape of which I am most fond.

    Drink well, all.

    David

    Oct 07, 2009 at 6:42 PM


  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 217,192

    Thanks David.

    Even with spellcheck things get by.

    I appreciate the kind words and will redouble our efforts to provide you with accurate, error free content.

    Best regards

    Greg

    Oct 07, 2009 at 8:01 PM


  • Snooth User: Philip James
    Founding Member Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    1 12,550

    Oh man - spell checking and proof reading are my bane. I'm on the proof reading committee, but am appalling at spelling. Seems like we need to double down there.

    Oct 07, 2009 at 8:19 PM


  • Snooth User: dhbuckley
    189499 7

    Hey--you fixed 'em quick ;-)

    Just wondering--are you on a Mac or PC? My Mac catches those things (underlines in red) system wide, I think, and then you right click (pc term, I know) to automatically choose your fix. I can also set a different dictionary language so as to correct my bad French, accents and all, for example.

    This would seem particularly useful in oeno-writing methinks.

    Correct well, all.

    David

    Oct 07, 2009 at 8:51 PM


  • Snooth User: grellot
    120874 3

    Salice Salentino is a fav of mine. Best with a thin crust pizza from a wood-fired oven.....grabbing a bottle now and heading around the corner to Toscana Grill ! !
    ---and BTW, those spelling freaks and MAC-snobs are fargin' iceholes. (jus-sayin')

    Oct 07, 2009 at 10:05 PM


  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 217,192

    Thanks Grellot.

    Nice cheese!

    Hope you enjoyed your dinner.

    Oct 08, 2009 at 11:11 AM


  • Snooth User: ekw590
    Hand of Snooth
    127408 348

    Sounds like someone needs to chill with a good bottle of Negroamaro and just enjoy the wine. Thanks for the tip.

    Oct 08, 2009 at 2:06 PM


  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 217,192

    Thanks.

    That's the spirit.

    Live, learn and share.

    Oct 08, 2009 at 6:43 PM


  • Snooth User: lingprof
    Hand of Snooth
    155607 1,108

    Dear GPD: Thank you for introducing me to a variety I probably would not have tried otherwise. Tonight I tried the Masseria Altemura Negroamaro Salento 2006, a nice value at $13. My husband and I both loved it. And we plan to explore more Negroamaros. So thanks for the great information!

    p.s. as someone with a phd in linguistics, I can tell you that all the fretting about spelling is just snobbery. english spelling is stupid (<--forgive me for using that technical term), and as long as we are getting fascinating content, somewhat trivial and irrelevant. so there.

    Oct 13, 2009 at 1:33 AM


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