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2013 Uvaggio Antichi Viti Grenache, Santa Clara Valley, California
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
Grenache is the most widely planted black grape variety in the world. In the Southern Rhône it provides the backbone for most red blends and is the key component of Châteauneuf du Pape. Some Châteauneufs such as Château Rayas are even made from 100% Grenache. In the Languedoc it plays a key role in many blends and is responsible for much of the Rosé wine from Southern France.
It is the most extensively red wine grape grown in Spain where it is known as Garnacha Tinta - in Rioja it is blended with Tempranillo and is most widely planted in the warm Eastern Rioja Baja region. The very best Garnacha wines come from Priorat in Catalonia, where fruit from old Garnacha bush vines is blended with small quantities of Cabernet Sauvignon to produce wines of startling intensity and depth of fruit.
Grenache was once Australia`s most widely planted black grape but much of it was grubbed up in the 70s and early 80s to make room for more fashionable grapes. However plantings have been on the increase since the early 1990s and the best examples are found in the Barossa Valley from dry-farmed, bush-pruned, old Grenache vines.
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