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.
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
Cantina Ariano 2015 Negroamaro (Puglia)Southern ItalyThis straighforward offering brings aromas of crushed strawberry and currant to the ...See Full ReviewN/A
Apollonio 2012 Terragnolo Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalyAromas of smashed red plum and berries carry a sheen of hard ...See Full Review$24
Rivera 2017 Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalyRipe aromas of strawberry and dark cherry kick off this easygoing red. ...See Full Review$16
Produttori di Manduria 2013 Abatemasi Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalyA dense, powerful nose of brooding dark cherry and blackberry melds with ...See Full Review$25
Miali 2011 Ichore Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalySpicy bramble berry and red-cherry aromas meet a rustic leather and barnyard ...See Full Review$18
Varvaglione 2014 12 e Mezzo Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalySavory red cherry, herbal strawberry and licorice aromas make for an easy-to-like ...See Full Review$14
Felline 2016 Torreguaceto Pietraluna Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalySuperripe cherry, bubblegum and cinnamon tones carry the aromas and flavors. The ...See Full Review$12
Cosimo Taurino 2011 Patriglione Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalyShowing its age well, this pure expression of Negroamaro immediately engages the ...See Full Review$60
Gianfranco Fino 2015 Jo Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalyNamed after the latin name of the Ionian sea (Jonio), this single-variety ...See Full Review$90
Cantele 2014 Teresamanara Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalyDark cherry and blackberry aromas meld with tobacco leaf and eucalyptus on ...See Full Review$33
Cosimo Taurino 2010 Notarpanaro Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalyThis well-priced, aged wine offers aromas of brandied cherries, spiced game and ...See Full Review$18
San Marzano 2015 Talò Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalySpicy, dense aromas of tobacco leaf, briar berries and tilled earth make ...See Full Review$17
Conti Zecca 2014 Donna Marzia Negroamaro (Puglia)Southern ItalyA mix of black and red cherries carry the nose, with tobacco ...Best BuySee Full Review$12
A Mano 2016 Negroamaro (Puglia)Southern ItalyStrawberry jam and green herb aromas are joined by a delicate floral ...See Full Review$13
San Marzano 2016 Il Pumo Negroamaro (Salento)Southern ItalyRich and fruity, this bargain buy shows strawberry and blackberry jam aromas ...Best BuySee Full Review$9
Cantele 2014 Riserva Negroamaro (Salice Salentino)Southern ItalySarsaparilla, cherry and blackberry show medium intensity on the nose. Light in ...See Full Review$15
Leone de Castris 2016 Maiana Negroamaro (Salice Salentino)Southern ItalyRipe red berry and plum aromas are covered in a sheen of ...See Full Review$13