Puglia is responsible for one of the largest annual productions of any of Italy's wine regions. Only a relatively small proportion of this meets top quality standards, however.
The extreme southeastern province of Salento is where the finest reds come from. Here the spicy and exciting Negroamaro is the claim to fame. Some Negroamaro is also grown in California and Australia but this grape variety has remained closely associated with the Puglia region for more than 1500 years.
Negroamaro is a mildly aromatic, dark-skinned red grape variety, valued for its deep dark colour, medium-full tannins and flavours of dark berries. It is a relatively drought-hardy variety therefore not troubled by the limited rainfall in the region.
The "Nero di Velluto" is an intense red wine, with hints of black pepper, tobacco and cocoa, warm and velvety in the mouth. The production is limited to about 10,000 bottles, produced only in the best years with grapes coming from an old vineyard implanted in 1935.
Aged for 12 months in French oak casks (barriques).
Nero di Velluto 2012 has scooped the 5 Grappoli (highest score) by the Italian Sommeliers Foundation.
Best served at about 18°C.
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