Malvasia Nera di Brindisi | Black grape which is part of the amorphous Malvasia group of grape varieties. Malvasia Nera di Brindisi is Italy’s most commonly planted red-berried Malvasia, originating from Puglia. Malvasia Nera di Brindisi is the result of a natural crossing between Malvasia Bianca Lun- ga and Negroamaro. Until very recently, Malvasia Nera di Brindisi and Malvasia Nera di Lecce appeared to be genetically identical. However, the most recent studies seem to prove otherwise, which is more consistent with the vastly different vine morphology, viticultural behavior and character of wine the two make.

Wines | Calabria: Some plamtings. Puglia: Salice Salentino DOC. | Copertino DOC. | Lizzano DOC. | Tuscany: Some plantings.

Viticulture | Malvasia Nera di Brindisi suits sandy sites which enhance it light aromatics. Early ripening and vigorous, Malvasia Nera di Brindisi ripens in the first half of September.

Wine style | Malvasia Nera di Brindisi gives pale-coloured wines which can oxidise easily due to its unstable anthocyanins. Lightly aromatic, its medium-bodied wine gives notes of blackberry and violet. Cool sites help preserve its fresh aromas; otherwise notes of burnt tobacco often develop with time. As it is reductive in nature, skilled winemaking is essential.

Wines | Still dry varietal Malvasia Nera di Brindisi red wines do exist in Puglia but the variety is most often blended with Negroamaro. In Tuscany, for the production of Chianti, it is used like Canaiolo Nero as a blending partner for Sangiovese. Notable examples where it is part of the blend are Castello di Ama’s Chianti Classico Vigna Bellavista, Castellare’s I Sodi di San Niccolo and Capannelle’s Solare.

Bibliography

Italian Wine Unplugged (Positive Press, 2017), p57-8.