Duca Carlo Guarini ‘Nativo’
Salento, Puglia 2017
Negro Amaro 100%
The ‘other’ red grape from Puglia, and one with amazing propensity to do well here in California. 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’s been entrenched in Puglian culture forever – but there’s a great potential lying beneath the surface that makes it one to watch. Santa Rita Hills, perhaps?
The Guarini family has a mind boggling history in Puglia dating back to 1065, as much intertwined with the local culture as it is with the development of the regional viticulture. Beyond wine, they are an important local farm resource: fresh produce for their neighbors, and a high- end line of canned goods: tomatoes, olives, artichokes… This is a special place near in the southern heel of the boot, 4 kilometers from the narrowest point of the Adriatic where you can see Albania on a clear day. They also make a Negro Amaro vinified as a white wine. Definitely a first for me.