Thursday, March 20, 2008

Back to Italy: Negroamora

I took a detour last week and spent some time posting about Portugal. I'm ready to return to Italy! The particular region is in the south, the heal of the boot known as Apulia (Puglia in Italian.) The map to the right (used by permission from WineCountryIT) shows this region, which to me looks like a sea horse laying on its side. This region is a fertile, flat plain with iron rich soil. According to Vino Italiano, this region "is the principal source of the three Italian staples: bread, olive oil, and wine." Apulia is in a tie with Sicily and the Veneto in the claim of biggest producer of wine in Italy.

The red wines of Apulia are mainly Negroamaro, which means "black and bitter", and Primitivo a close genetic cousin to Zinfandel. I've had Primitivo before and liked it, so I thought it was time to try a Negroamaro, which is the most widely planted red in the Apulia region. This grape has a thick skin, is dark colored and produces a wine with strong tannins. The wine is often blended with other grapes, such as Malvasia Nera, to mitigate the tough tannins. Many descriptions I read about the wine use the words "bitter" when describing this wine (see Wannabe Wino for one.) I was surprised when the bottle of wine I bought was not so bitter or tannic.

The Negroamora I had was the 2006 Feudi di San Marzano. This wine was 100% Negroamora grapes from districts in the area of Taranto. Apparently, it is the other parts of Apulia where they blend other grapes to make the wine. My main impression of the wine was cherries. It had a faint aroma and soft tannins. The finish was like sour cherries. We had the wine with spicy spaghetti and meatballs. The wine went well with the acidity of the tomato sauce. (Dr Debs had her Negroamora with another tomato sauce based dish: pizza!) I would definitely drink this particular wine again, but I was disappointed that it wasn't more tannic. I've bought another bottle already and I'll have it the next time we have spaghetti. (This grape is # 52 on my way to 100 grapes.)

Tasting Notes

Feudi di San Marzano Puglia IGT Negroamaro 2006

Color:  Dark purple

Aroma:  Cherry

Taste:  Cherry and light tannins

Finish:  Sour cherries


Dr. Debs said...

I've never had a bitter/tanic bottle either, OrionSlayer. For me, it's the ultimate pizza/pasta wine as I often find sangiovese a little more flat. Plus, the negroamaro is more affordable (lesser known). Glad you liked it!

Orion Slayer said...

Thanks for the comment, Dr. Debs. Have you tried a Primitivo with pizza? How does that compare with a Negroamora?

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