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2020 Negro Amaro

Possibly the perfect BBQ wine, and great for everyone when a medium-weight, dark-fruited-but-light-on-its-feet that is perfect for the whole table. Not much acid, bright and really interesting fig and purple fruit flavors with low tannin. Unique, but not too challenging; comfortable but a little exotic. Great for the whole table, and just fine without any food at all. Our new best seller.


Tasting notes: Juicy, round and bright with a dusting of fine tannin, envision a darker,  Italian Gamay approaching Zin weight. Plum, cassis and general grapiness abound with notes of fig, olive, black pepper and pleasingly rustic earthiness that is still light on its feet. Low-ish acid and smooth tannin make it a round delight. There is a wonderful fresh funk that always accompanies Negroamaro as well in a bright, almost glou glou-vibrant style. We keep aging down to 9 months in neutral barrels so that fresh fruit shines through.


Vineyard: Clone FPS 02.1 (imported by Sutter Home oddly enough) on 1103P rootstock. Planted in 2012 on bilateral cordon utilizing “California sprawl” trellising and varying a north/south orientations. Strangely, Negroamaro hates direct sunlight, so an elaborate trellis-weaving technique is used to block afternoon sun. Nearly dry farmed. No pesticides. Hand harvested.


Winemaking: Fermented gently in a small tank. Fermentations lasting 14 days. Wood-basket pressed. No sulfur added until bottling, and no racking until bottling. Unfined and unfiltered but totally stable and clean, and very fresh and vibrant. We do just enough aging to polish the tannin, but unlike our bigger reds we keep this one very fresh.


Vintage: 2020. What can be said? Chaos, confusion. After a wet 2019 we were back to drought and had 56 days at the vineyard hitting 95F or above – quite warm though not hot like 2021. Fires engulfed NorCal in the summer. The Memorial Day heatwave hit 112F and then a brand new round of fires hit Napa in October, though Lake County was fire free. Ultimately it was a fruit forward vintage, with about 30% lighter crop than average which worked in the favor of tannin ripeness and picking a little earlier than normal.


Label Image: Johann Mylius was a composer, physician and ardent alchemist. His Philosophia Reformatafrom 1622 was a deep dive into scientific principles and doctoral Theology divided into seven parts, and seven of the 10 emblems on the cover link to the iconography of previous alchemists.


The phrase “Vinum in Agris” means “wine of the countryside,”

alluding to Negro Amaro’s humble but satisfying nature.


100% Negro Amaro


Yield: 3.0 tons per acre


Aged 8 months in neutral barrels


No racking until bottling


unfined, unfiltered


pH 3.76

TA 5.4gm/l

14.1% abv


150 cases produced


Hand bottled on site

2020 Negro Amaro


12 bottle discount = 20%

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