Negroamaro is a dark-skinned grape best known in the Puglia region in southern Italy. The wines from this grape tend to show a deep ruby-red color in youth, graduating to richer, darker red after a couple of years. Its aromatics are elegant, and young Negromaro typically displays notes of fresh red cherry, forest fruits, licorice and tobacco.
With some age, the wines take on other aromas like dried prunes, black pepper and some herbal and botanical notes. On the palate, Negroamaro can take on an earthy character, with some spice and occasionally a chunky tannic finish.
The Negroamaro grape is used to produce red and rosé wines, some of which are single varietals and a great many of which are blends. Negroamaro is most often blended with Malvasia Nera, Susumaniello or Primitivo. As a blending component, Negroamaro’s high alcohol and relatively high tannin adds strength to blends that would otherwise be quite light.
Grown throughout Puglia, Negroamaro is most often associated with the southern part of the region: the Salento peninsula. Here, two provinces are known to produce particularly good examples, Lecce and Brindisi. The province of Taranto is always a significant stronghold for Negroamaro production, though to a lesser extent. The region’s Mediterranean climate is warm and has limited rainfall, an optimal environment to cultivate the hardy and drought-resistant Negroamaro variety to ripeness.
Negroamaro is used to produce numerous Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) and Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) level wines throughout Puglia. Perhaps the best known is Salice Salentino DOC, where the Negroamaro variety thrives on the growing area’s combination of clay and limestone soils.
Other revered expressions of Negroamaro can be found in Brindisi DOC, Copertino DOC, Leverano DOC, Squinzano DOC and Terra d’Otrano DOC. Some of these regions also have distinct DOCs for Riserva or Rosato wines, in which Negroamaro also plays a large part. Some notable non-DOC wines include Puglia Negroamaro IGT and Salento Negroamaro IGT.
A limited amount of Negroamaro is grown in California and Australia, but for the most part, it is solely associated with southern Italy.
The origins of the name “Negroamaro” are not precisely known. An approximate translation from Italian means “dark, bitter,” which may refer to the grape’s particularly dark color and its high levels of tannin. Alternatively, it may come from old Greek and Latin, which would approximately translate to “dark dark” or “dark black,” again referencing its color. Synonyms include Negro Amaro, Nigramaro, Negramaro, Amaro Nero and Nicra Amaro.
Negroamaro should not be confused with Negramoll, a red wine grape grown throughout the Iberian Peninsula and the most widely planted grape on the island of Madeira.
Eliminate confusion both online and while shopping with help from our digital Buying Guide below. Each bottle has been sampled and rated by our expert tasters at Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Browse by style to find an interesting Negroamaro wine to try.
Varvaglione 2017 12 e Mezzo Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalyReduced upon opening, this starts off with a stewed cabbage tone that ...See Full Review$14
Claudio Quarta 2017 Tenute Eméra Anima di Negroamaro (Lizzano)Southern ItalyDense aromas of baked plum, fig and blackberry carry the rich nose. ...See Full Review$20
Tagaro 2017 Passo del Sud Red (Puglia)Southern ItalyWith the blend dominated by Negroamaro, this red kicks off with ripe ...See Full Review$13
Apollonio 2019 Elfo Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalyThis fresh, easygoing red is made entirely in stainless steel and meant ...See Full Review$17
Tenute Rubino 2018 Virgilius Negroamaro (Brindisi)Southern ItalyThis polished Negroamaro kicks off with aromas of crushed pepper, tobacco and ...Best BuySee Full Review$15
Trullo Flaminio 2018 Negroamaro (Brindisi)Southern ItalyPronounced aromas of violet and tilled earth meld with a cherry and ...See Full Review$24
Apollonio 2014 Terragnolo Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalyAromas of cocoa, coffee and rich plum carry the nose. This red ...See Full Review$30
San Marzano 2019 Talò Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalyDried thyme, blood orange and red-plum aromas carry to the fleshy palate. ...See Full Review$15
Tagaro 2017 Seicaselle Negroamaro (Salice Salentino)Southern ItalyBrandy soaked plum and plenty of sweet and savory spices grace the ...See Full Review$14
Danti 2016 Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalyAromas of slightly charred plum and blackberry meld with dashes of crushed ...See Full Review$26
Vigneti del Salento 2018 I Muri Negroamaro (Puglia)Southern ItalyAromas of cherry, plum and latex carry the easygoing nose. The medium-bodied ...See Full Review$13
Tormaresca 2016 Masseria Maìme Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalyAromas of crushed Mediterranean herbs, olive tapenade and peppery spices meld with ...See Full Review$35
Prima Materia 2018 Vinum in Agris NegroamaroLake CountyMeaty, gamy aromas and rich plummy flavors make this full-bodied wine likeable ...See Full Review$28
Schola Sarmenti 2015 Nerìo Riserva Red (Nardò)Southern ItalyOpaque ruby in the glass, this dense red offers aromas of liquor-soaked ...See Full Review$25
Coppi 2018 Pellirosso Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalyZesty aromas of crushed thyme, bay leaf and eucalyptus ride over a ...Best BuySee Full Review$13
Masseria Li Veli 2018 Primonero Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalyAromas of thyme, crushed pepper and mixed crushed berries take a bit ...Best BuySee Full Review$11
Rivera 2018 Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalyAromas of bright cherry, anise and cinnamon start off this straightforward red. ...Best BuySee Full Review$11
Prima Materia NV NegroamaroLake CountyGorgeous, generous and packed with delicious black-fruit flavors, this full-bodied wine is ...See Full Review$28
Tormaresca 2015 Masseria Maìme Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalyFrom the winery's Salento estate located in the Brindisi province, this Negroamaro ...See Full Review$35
Masseria Li Veli 2016 Pezzo Morgana Riserva Negroamaro (Salice Salentino)Southern ItalyEarthy aromas of tobacco and leather meld with a balsamic cherry note ...See Full Review$21