Rose Murray Brown - The Scotsman, 22nd April 2017
About this WINE
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 (Noir) is widely grown and comes in a variety of styles. Believed to originate in Spain, it was, in the late 20th century, the most widely planted black grape variety in the world. Today it hovers around seventh in the pecking order. It tends to produce very fruity, rich wines that can range quite widely in their level of tannin.
In many regions – most famously the Southern Rhône, where it complements Syrah and Mourvèdre, among other grapes – it adds backbone and colour to blends, but some of the most notable Châteauneuf du Pape producers (such as Château Rayas) make 100 percent Grenache wines. The grape is a component in many wines of the Languedoc (where you’ll also find its lighter-coloured forms, Grenache Gris and Blanc) and is responsible for much southern French rosé – taking the lead in most Provence styles.
Found all over Spain as Garnacha Tinta (spelt Garnaxa in Catalonia), the grape variety is increasingly detailed on wine labels there. Along with Tempranillo, it forms the majority of the blend for Rioja’s reds and has been adopted widely in Navarra, where it produces lighter styles of red and rosado (rosé). It can also be found operating under a pseudonym, Cannonau, in Sardinia.
Beyond Europe, Grenache is widely planted in California and Australia, largely thanks to its ability to operate in high temperatures and without much water. Particularly in the Barossa Valley, there are some extraordinary dry-farmed bush vines, some of which are centuries old and produce wines of startling intensity.