Bombino Nero | Red grape variety found mainly in the Puglia region of Italy, its probable homeland, with minor plantings in Basilicata and other Italian regions. José Vouillamoz says Bombino Nero is not the dark-skinned version of Bombino Bianco (which is also found in Puglia), but DNA profiling suggests they could be closely related.
The name | Bombino bunches are said to look like a cuddly infant or ‘bambino’ in Italian. Another theory is Bombino is a corruption of ‘buon vino’ or good wine, ‘good in this case referring to its potentially abundant yields.
Pink wines | Ole Udsen told me (at Radici del Sud, June 2015) ‘as Bombino Nero ripens both late and unevenly, it lends itself to pink or ‘rosato’ wines rather than reds, due to the risk of bunches being both less than ripe and fully ripe. Note than in Puglia a pink wine will have quite a deep colour. Red wine examples of Bombino Nero can be acidic. In terms of flavour Bombino Nero is neutral, like Chardonnay. This means any terroir effects are clearly visible in the wine. Bombino Nero is sensitive to yield and with high yields it becomes watery. Good examples show wild raspberry and strawberry notes, perhaps into light cherry, with floral markers and macchia (‘garrigue’). Levels of both acidity and dry extract are good.’ Its racy acidity is rather atypical in an a Southern Italian context, and at its best Bombino Nero can outshine Negroamaro when it comes to the pink or ‘rosato’ wine style. (Italian Wine Unplugged, 2017).
DOC Wines | Castel del Monte DOC.
DOCG Wines | Castel del Monte Bombino Nero DOCG.
Italian Wine Unplugged (Positive Press, 2017), p83.