02 Nov Please The Palate Wine of the Week: Martha Stoumen Negroamaro Rosato NV2, Bricarelli Vineyard, Mendocino
Negroamaro, which means “black and bitter”, is a red wine grape found in Puglia in southern Italy. This red wine with rich black fruit and dried herb notes grows in abundance in Puglia but is grown almost nowhere else. That is except for a small amount grown in California. One person growing it is Martha Stoumen who made the Martha Stoumen Negroamaro Rosato NV2, the Please The Palate wine of the week.
Martha Stoumen Wines was founded upon the desire to recapture a farming and winemaking culture that has all but faded away: a winemaking culture of patience. Martha makes wines from lesser-known varieties, including many Italian grapes. Her focus is on low-input organic farming and minimal intervention. And the warmer climate of inland Mendocino is where she is able to accomplish this.
There is very little Negroamaro grown in California but Chiarito Vineyards in Mendocino County was the first American producer of Negroamaro. They were also the first to get permission to use the varietal Negroamaro on a wine label in the United States. And Charito Vineyard is one of the vineyards Martha leases. She has a lease with the Bricarelli Vineyard, a 5-acre vineyard that is head trained and dry farmed. A quarter of Bricarelli Vineyard is planted to Negroamaro and in 2018, another acre of Negroamaro, and Nero d’Avola, were grafted onto one acre of rootstock.
The Martha Stoumen Negroamaro Rosato NV2 is a blend of three vintages, 20% from 2018, 40% from 2019, and 40% from 2020. The fruit comes from one acre of Negroamaro. The grapes are foot treaded and left overnight on the skins and stems. The juice starts to picks up depth but does not start fermentation. It is pressed the next day and put in 5-7 year old neutral barrels where it undergoes native fermentation. The lees are not racked off as they help the wine age and give the wine texture. The vintages are blended just prior to bottling.
This is the second non-vintage rosato by Martha Stoumen. The Negroamaro Rosato NV2 ($47) is textured with strawberry and red hot candy aromas and racing acidity. Give it a chill and enjoy with salty potato chips!