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.
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
Leone de Castris 2017 Maiana Negroamaro (Salice Salentino)Southern ItalyLight aromas of peppery spice, violet and cranberry start off this Negroamaro. ...See Full Review$15
Due Palme 2018 Canonico Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalyAromas of allspice and juniper mesh well with the ripe cherry core ...See Full Review$19
Masseria Altemura 2017 Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalyCherry and bramble berry aromas meld with violet and pepper on the ...See Full Review$17
Cantele 2015 Riserva Negroamaro (Salice Salentino)Southern ItalyAromas of cola, anise and brandy-soaked dark cherry mark the nose, with ...See Full Review$16
Varvaglione 2015 12 e Mezzo Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalyAromas of dark cherry and blackberry coulis meld with a proper dose ...See Full Review$15
Barocco 2017 Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalyAromas of cherry and tobacco take on a balsamic undertone on the ...Best BuySee Full Review$10
Jorche 2015 Caleido Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalyThere's a good amount of oak on the nose in tones of ...See Full Review$15
Claudio Quarta 2016 Tenute Eméra Anima di Negroamaro (Lizzano)Southern ItalyAromas of geranium and tilled earth ride over a lightly concentrated core ...See Full Review$22
Teanum 2017 Òtre Fish Negroamaro (Puglia)Southern ItalyAromas of cherry jam and raspberry carry the nose of this light-bodied ...See Full Review$16
Mottura 2018 Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalyA veil of frankincense and smoke seems disjointed from the ripe cherry ...See Full Review$15
Torrevento 2017 É Arte Negroamaro (Puglia)Southern ItalyAromas of crushed stone, green tobacco and underripe berries translate to the ...See Full Review$13
Orsi Family 2015 Negroamaro (Dry Creek Valley)SonomaA rustic leathery nose leads to a middle marked by firm, chalky ...See Full Review$38
Monte Volpe 2014 Negroamaro (Mendocino County)Mendocino CountyAn appealing aroma like white pepper and new leather gives way to ...See Full Review$28
Boeger 2016 Negroamaro (El Dorado)Sierra FoothillsRipe, generous fruit flavors are framed by good, firm tannins and fresh ...See Full Review$24
Tormaresca 2013 Masseria Maìme Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalyVibrant aromas of spiced cranberry and strawberry meld with accents of crushed ...See Full Review$35
Schola Sarmenti 2014 Nerìo Riserva Red (Nardò)Southern ItalyThis blend of 80% Negroamaro and 20% Malvasia Nera is initially closed, ...See Full Review$27
Schola Sarmenti 2016 Roccamora Negroamaro (Nardò)Southern ItalyThis is a juicy yet taut Negroamaro that's sourced from 20-year-old alberello-trained ...See Full Review$22