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2012 Uvaggio Barbera, Lodi, California
Scores and Reviews
Uvaggio was set up in 1997 by winemaker Jim Moore and barrel maker Mel Knox. Jim had worked at Clos du Val, Schramsberger and Stag’s Leap among others before a 20+ year stint at Robert Mondavi. After leaving Mondavi, he also undertook a number of other consultancy/winemaking projects before becoming Director of Winemaking at Boony Doon Vineyard/Ca' del Solo in Santa Cruz in 2003. He then decided to concentrate his attention full-time on his Uvaggio project and has been devoted to this ever since.
The aim of Uvaggio (‘Uvaggio meands ‘blend’ in Italian) is to focus on Italian grape varieties in California, to create authentic, interesting, food-friendly wines without the typical Californian price tag. His theory is simple: if California has a climate perfect for growing Mediterranean varietals, why not take advantage of it?
Jim’s thoughtful, philosophical and modest approach is evident in his style of winemaking. He deliberately veers away from making ‘over the top’ Californian wines; his white wines rarely exceed 12.5% alcohol with the reds generally going no higher than 14.5%. He also firmly believes that a wine’s primary role is to accompany food. As such, the wines have a distinctive ‘Old World’ feel about them whilst also embracing the riper fruit that California offers.
The range includes a Moscato Giallo, a Vermentino, a Barbera, a Primitivo and a Grenache, all made in the Lodi. We are delighted to introduce these brilliant new additions to Berry Bros. & Rudd. They are affordable wines which are fun and fruit-driven but with a deeper, more thought-provoking edge that invites you back for more. In short, they incredibly good to drink and are among the best wines I have tried at this price point from California.
Catriona Felstead MW
Barbera is planted extensively in Piedmont and south-west Lombardy and accounts for over 50% of the wine produced in the region. The majority is sold simply as Barbera del Piemonte, but the best wines are the DOCs, Barbera d'Alba and Barbera d'Asti. It ripens late (after Dolcetto but before Nebbiolo).
The wines are usually ruby red in colour with notably low levels of tannins. They have a pronounced acidity that can be accentuated by overproduction. Barbera wines range from light, tart mouthwashers through to powerful, intensely flavoured wines that require extended cellaring.