Negroamaro - January 2011

At the heart of popular Puglian blends

Best Negroamaro Wines for the U.S. Market

Masseria l’Astore
2008 Filimei Negroamaro
$NA (Not available in the U.S.), $15 in Italy
Leathery and lightly funky on the nose with beautifully perfumed red fruit tones. Rich in the mouth and both fairly weighty and tannic yet this is brimming with rich fruit that is both sweet and slightly bitter, finishing with a long resonant finish. 93pts
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Duca Carlo Guarini
2008 Nativo Organic Negroamaro
Smells organic, very soil-driven with rich notes of black tea and dried plums. Fairly velvety in the mouth with juicy acidity supporting transparent dark berry fruits. The fine-grained tannins here add the perfect support and draw the finish out with a lovely expression of fruit. 92pts
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Feudi di San Marzano
2009 Negroamaro F
$NA, $30 in Italy
Intensely aromatic with an initial blast of leather followed by notes of oak and international, anonymous fruit. Green undertones on entry are followed by a smooth, silky, polished mouthful of fruit that offers nice depth and intensity. This is packed with fruit and a bit tannic and tight today, but the long finish bodes well for the future. This may not turn out to be particularly Italian though. 91pts
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Duca Carlo Guarini
2007 Piutri Negroamaro
A little too much raw wood on the nose seems to be obscuring nice clay soil tones and dried fruit notes. Smooth and polished in the mouth with bright acids and super fine tannin supporting blacker berried fruit. This is very aromatic in the mouth and exhibits fine purity of fruit. 90pts
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Castel di Salve
2008 Salento Rosso Negroamaro
Aggressively aromatic with notes of earth, balsamic spice and wild red fruits. This initially comes off as a bit fruit-forward but it has a rustic feel that helps focus the clean fruit in the mouth. Real freshness here both to the fruit and in the mouthfeel, with wonderfully spicy red fruits that extend through the finish. 90pts
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Dei Agre
2007 Magrede Negroamaro
$NA, $16 in Italy
Intensely aromatic with liquory fruits framed by spice and wood toast notes. Big and rich in the mouth with lots of chocolaty fruit on the finish. This really shows nice polish for such a large wine but is a touch clumsy in the mouth. The finish is moderately long and intense with an extracted feel. 90pts
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2007 I Censi
90% Negroamaro, 10% Malvasia Nera
Smoky and mossy on the nose with flinty, struck rock notes. Refined and silky in the mouth with lots of spicy, slight jammy, deep berry fruits that are cut by solid acidity and slightly drying tannins. 89pts
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Le Braci
2003 Late Harvest Negroamaro
$NA, $50 in Italy
Very perfumed with rich notes of fresh and dried fruits accented with vanilla tones. Sweet and soft in the mouth with lots of wood tannins up front, though with enough sweet, dried fruit flavors to cover them on the mid-palate and on the moderately long finish.  89pts
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2008 Albarossa Salice Salentino
80% Negroamare, 20% Malvasia Nera
Beautifully aromatic nose with fresh frutti del bosco fruits accented with a touch of pink peppercorn. Explosively fruity on the nose but very attractive. In the mouth this delivers fresh, juicy, nicely aromatic fruit that is brimming with red currants and wild raspberries.  A fine, juicy, fruity wine. 89pts
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2008 Negroamaro
Lightly woody on the nose with sweet spice notes and licorice accenting wild berry fruit tones. Soft and broad in the mouth with gently supporting acids. There are nice black fruits in the mouth with aromatic hints of rosemary and tomato leaf, particularly on the moderately long finish. 89pts
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Alberto Longo
2007 Capoposto Negroamaro
High-toned aromatics with spicy, herbal tones to the black fruits and a nice candied violet top note greet the nose. Soft and very broad in the mouth with good acids emerging on the mid-palate. Nicely plummy in the mouth with a nice gentle bitter note on the moderately long finish. 88pts
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2007 Devinis – Negroamaro 
$NA, $9 in Italy
Leather on the nose with a light burnt edge to the soil and cow patty tones that feature a light floral top note. Bright in the mouth and rich with dried, lightly jammy red fruits supported by soft but present acids. Finishes with a hint of camphor and good persistence to the red fruits. 88pts
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2008 Tenuta le Pitre Negroamaro
Smoky on the nose with note of cigar box and smoked meats framing the sweet fruit. A bit thick in the mouth yet quite juicy with a rounded, fruity mid-palate that leads to a balanced, moderately long, fruity finish. 88pts
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2004 Duca d’Aragonna
80% Negroamaro, 20% Montepulciano
$NA, $25 in Italy
Tight on the nose with low smoky notes over a lightly nutty base. Bright up front with jammy wild blueberry fruits that turn red on the elegant mid-palate. The finish is a bit matte and compressed but shows a nice base of soft, gentle fruit tannin underpinning it all. This is quite refined, perhaps too refined, though with potential. 88pts
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Feudi di San Marzano
2009 Sud Negroamaro
$NA, $12 in Italy
Smells fairly sweet and dark with a grilled meaty underlay. Rich and smooth on entry with acids just below the fruit offering nice lift through the mouth. This has plenty of tannin but the rich, lightly plummy fruit handles it easily. Good length on the finish though it seems a touch sweet. 88pts
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2007 Eloquenzia Copertino Negroamaro
$NA, $8 in Italy
Funky and a bit poopy on the nose. Silky and bright in the mouth with refined tannins lending an elegant feel to the wine with its dried cherry fruit and mineral finish. 88pts
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Schola Sarmenti
2005 Nerio
80% Negroamaro, 20% Malvasia Nera
$NA, $15 in Italy
A touch toasty on the nose with sweet yet faded fruit. Soft and broad in the mouth with rich, nicely leathery red fruits presented in a rather smooth, seamless, well-managed style that is perfumed and fairly long. 88pts
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Conti Zecca
2008 Cantalupi Rosso
80% Negroamaro, 20% Malvasia Nera
The nose here is a bit shy, dusty and earthy with gentle spice undertones. Big stuff up front with lovely notes of dried red berry fruits supported by soft tannins that lends a lightly peppery spice to the mid-palate, which is joined by a touch of coffee on the moderately long finish. 88pts
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Mentioned in this article


  • My first encounter with the Negroamaro grape was a wine called Coppertino. I did not notice it on your list. It was a wonderful wine and became a standard in my cellar, to be used with my Italian red sauces. Can't find it anymore. It started out at $8. a bottle, but when it went to $11., my local wine purveyors stopped carrying it. Guess they thought it wasn't worth the increase in price. I didn't agree. Ever heard of it

    Jan 10, 2011 at 12:33 PM

  • Snooth User: howie2
    Hand of Snooth
    419724 9

    Love Negroamaro, but amazed that you have not found room for both of the offerings from Cantele. They are a standout producer from Puglia, always reliable, often brilliant, and the basic and top end Negroamaro's are both wonderful and great value for money!! Howie.

    Jan 10, 2011 at 4:03 PM

  • Snooth User: JSScrappy
    682958 9

    Yes Howie is dead on! Cantele wines from Puglia are great and inexpensive!

    Jan 10, 2011 at 5:49 PM

  • Snooth User: howie2
    Hand of Snooth
    419724 9

    Thanks JSS...wherever you are?? Have you tried their Rosato and the Amativo. If I think about, they are one of few wineries who make no bad wines and you can sell the whole range easily. Cant say that too often about producers with several wines on offer!!

    Jan 10, 2011 at 6:04 PM

  • Snooth User: luca chevalier
    Hand of Snooth
    533661 2,535

    Feudi di San Marzano
    2009 Negroamaro F

    ...avayable at home always...suggestion to try also PRIMITIVO 60 ANNI
    Feudi di San Marzano...if not avayable in USA i can send it!!!!...
    i think so...someone knows if it's difficult to send 6 bottle overseas?! or it's enought an UPS?!?

    Jan 11, 2011 at 12:58 AM

  • Snooth User: loriep
    94142 21

    I think Negroamaro is the next up and coming Italian varietal. Try Sensi Negroamaro. Very food friendly, and a good sipper too. At around $12 a bottle it's a bargain!

    Jan 11, 2011 at 5:13 PM

  • Snooth User: mpilla
    727052 7

    filimei...l'astore masseria...small cellar and big wines

    Jan 12, 2011 at 5:41 AM

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