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Salice Salentino is a wine region in the heel of the “boot,” Puglia, Italy. It’s located in the Salento peninsula, between the Adriatic and the Gulf of Taranto of the Ionian Sea. This hot, arid region has seen many landlords over the years, from the Greeks, to Romans, Lombards, Byzantines, Turks, Spanish (Aragonese), Venetians, until finally part of a unified Italy in the 19th century. Throughout all these cultural changes, the Negroamaro grape has been a constant. 
 
The name, originally niuru maro in localese, means “dark and bitter.” The deeply colored, rich wines do have a tinge of bitterness, pleasantly so, like high percent dark chocolate. The DOC allows a small percentage of Malvasia Nera added to soften the tannic properties of the wine. Sometimes these are labeled as Malvasia Nera di Brindisi or Lecce according to their home province, but there is negligible difference between the two. Salice Salentino Riserva is required to age 24 months before release. 
 
There is also a Salice Salentino spumante and passito (sweet). In 2010, along with rosato, there is now an official Salice Salentino bianco comprised of Chardonnay, Aleatico Dolce and Pinot Bianco as varietal or blends. 
 
– Description from Amanda Schuster

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