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2014 Uvaggio Moscato Giallo, 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
Muscat refers to a family of grapes of which there are around 200 different branches. Muscat Blancs à Petits Grains is the most noble of the variety and makes the best and most distinctive wines. It is the only wine grape that produces wines that actually taste of grapes, and can produce a range of wines from pale, bone dry whites, through to golden yellow, rich, sweet wines.
In Alsace, two types of Muscat are grown - Muscat Blancs à Petits Grains and Muscat Ottonel. They are usually blended to produce wines that tend to be light and dry with a fruity, musky character and an intensely aromatic bouquet. Intensely sweet late harvest wines are also produced.
Muscat de Beaumes de Venise is one of the best Vin Doux Naturels in France. This is produced by adding grape spirit to the partly fermented must - the best producers, such as Domaine de Durban, produce deliciously sweet wines with rich grapey aromas balanced by fruity acidity.
In Australia Muscat à Petit Grains is used to produce the fortified Liqueur Muscats of Victoria (esp. Rutherglen). These are extraordinary wines - dark and treacly with a sensational perfume of orange, raisins and honey.