The ‘other’ red grape from Puglia, a region drenched in hot hot sun, this grape is very well adapted to the climate and is 6th in terms of overall production in all of Italy. That kind of volume, as one would expect, doesn’t often lend itself to quality, but there are certainly those whose focus is bringing the best out of the grape as opposed to the bulk. Primitivo is the grape more widely favored in Puglia – the same grape as Zinfandel here in the US (though it has taken on a new identity in our soils.) But Negro Amaro retains acidity far better in the heat than Primitivo and it has far better ageability due to its naturally higher polyphenols. It seems odd to say that this is some rising star grape – it has been entrenched in Puglian culture forever – and one with amazing propensity to do well here in California. Santa Rita Hills, perhaps?
Taurino / Leone de Castris