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.
Cantele 2018 Amativo Red (Salento)Southern ItalyUniting Puglia's two favorite red grapes, this Negroamaro Primitivo offers a savory ...See Full Review$35
Mount Saint Joseph Wines 2020 Negroamaro (Sierra Foothills)Sierra FoothillsRed-fruit forward on the nose and palate, this wine offers vivacious notes ...See Full Review$42
Marchese di Borgosole 2018 Riserva Negroamaro (Brindisi)Southern ItalyVanilla, cherries and cocoa powder come out first on the nose of ...Best BuySee Full Review$14
Marchese di Borgosole 2018 Riserva Negroamaro (Salice Salentino)Southern ItalyCherries and blackberries sit on top of soil, underbrush and a bit ...Best BuySee Full Review$14
Cantele 2017 Negroamaro (Salice Salentino)Southern ItalyThe subtle nose on the Cantele Negroamaro Riserva quietly projects tar and ...Best BuySee Full Review$15
Masseria Cuturi 2020 Zacinto Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalyThis Negroamaro glows bloodred, with violet tones in the glass. Tree bark ...See Full Review$23
Cantele 2018 Teresa Manara Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalyA delicate, floral nose of cherries and violets underpinned by anise and ...See Full Review$32
Varvaglione 2019 12 E Mezzo Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalyDense, macerated berries countered with notes of soil and tea leaves on ...Best BuySee Full Review$15
San Marzano 2021 Il Pumo Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalySlightly agricultural on the nose at first, this Negroamaro then gives aromas ...Best BuySee Full Review$11
Tenuta del Pajaru 2021 Paritaru Negroamaro (Puglia)Southern ItalyLike a Christmas gift in a bottle, the nose on this deep ...See Full Review$25
Schola Sarmenti 2020 Roccamora Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalyThe combination of vanilla, brown sugar, and jus on the nose of ...See Full Review$23
San Marzano 2020 F Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalyDeep red, nearly opaque in the glass, this Negroamaro from the San ...See Full Review$30
A Mano 2020 Negroamaro (Puglia)Southern ItalyThe Negroamaro from the old vines in the Salice Salentino produce a ...Best BuySee Full Review$13
Matané 2019 Negroamaro (Puglia)Southern ItalyThe nose of this coppery garnet Negroamaro conjures a moment after dinner, ...See Full Review$14
Graziano 2017 Monte Volpe Negroamaro (Mendocino County)Mendocino CountyThis smooth and generously fruity wine offers a broad texture and ripe ...See Full Review$22
Mount Saint Joseph Wines 2018 Negroamaro (Sierra Foothills)Sierra FoothillsThis big, complex and attractively oaky wine offers a broad array of ...See Full Review$30
Menhir Salento 2016 Filo Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalyThis velvety red delivers dark, plummy fruit perked up by heady accents ...See Full Review$32
Cantine De Falco 2017 Salore Negroamaro (Salice Salentino)Southern ItalyDense black-plum and blackberry aromas are woven with orange peel and clove ...See Full ReviewN/A
Vetrère 2018 Tempio di Giano Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalyThis red smartly matches intense brambleberry fruit with anise and orange peel ...See Full ReviewN/A
Azienda Agricola Rocca 2019 Podere don Cataldo Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalyThis rich, plummy red carries seamless accents of cola, blood orange and ...See Full Review$21