Negramoll is a black grape from Spain, now common in wines from the Canary Islands.
The Phylloxera disease never reached Spain’s Canary Islands, so the vines have the rare characteristic of not having been grafted on roots from American Vitis varieties.
This means that old vines are not uncommon, yielding grapes with naturally high concentration of flavours. Grown on volcanic soil, the also contributes with minerals. They are also attributed by some to come with a certain level of saltiness.
In Madeira however, the Phylloxera arrived and all vines had to be replanted on American root stocks. Here, Negramoll is called Tinta Negra, and is not seen as a “noble” grape.
The grape is low on tannins and is also recognised for velvety structure it contributes with in blends. Fairly high in acidity, and a mix of red and dark red berries to nose and palate.
In Madeira it is used to make fortified wines of a somewhat lower quality, and in Peru it is one of several grapes used to make the national wine brandy beverage Pisco.
On the Canary Islands, you can find varietal Negramoll wines. They typically come with cherries, wild strawberries, liquorice and forest floor to nose and palate. They will also express vegetative notes if you drink them when they are too young.
The low tannin structure makes a varietal Negramoll wine a delicious companion to mature, hard cheeses. Other nice pairings are roasted chicken or poultry. The wine is best served at 14-16°C/57-61°F.
Where is it grown?
Negramoll is not a widespread variety but is the most planted grape in Peru. Plantings are reported also from Spain and Portugal, where it however has decreased with twenty-three percent and thirty-five percent, respectively, between 2000 and 2010.
- Spain, 1.265 ha/3,126 ac, MPG rank 48
- Peru (under the name Mollar), 1.252 ha/3,094 ac, MPG rank 1, PTPA 33%
- Portugal, 676 ha/1.670 ac, MPG rank 43 -364
Negramoll is recognised as being native to the Iberian Peninsula, most likely in Spain. It has been brought to South America some three to four hundred years ago, but there are no reports of plantings in Chile.