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: NegroamaroNegroamaro - 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.