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2003 Uvaggio il Lupo Barbera/Nebbiolo

Barbera • Nebbiolo • California • Red Wine

Sale expired on February 2, 2011
A Piedmont Experience from California

The Uvaggio il Lupo is a Barbera Nebbiolo blend from Napa’s Italian grape father. Jim Moore, aka Giacomo ran the Italian grape program for Mondavi winery where he worked for 20 years. Now he brings his expertise in the varieties to his own project. Jim’s interest in Italian varieties began in the 70’s long before Pinot Grigio became ubiquitous in our market.

Then when the exceptional Italian vintages of 1982 and 1985 were released,  read more...

The Uvaggio il Lupo is a Barbera Nebbiolo blend from Napa’s Italian grape father. Jim Moore, aka Giacomo ran the Italian grape program for Mondavi winery where he worked for 20 years. Now he brings his expertise in the varieties to his own project. Jim’s interest in Italian varieties began in the 70’s long before Pinot Grigio became ubiquitous in our market.Read more...

The Uvaggio il Lupo is a Barbera Nebbiolo blend from Napa’s Italian grape father. Jim Moore, aka Giacomo ran the Italian grape program for Mondavi winery whereRead more...

The Uvaggio il Lupo is a Barbera Nebbiolo blend from Napa’s Italian grape father. Jim Moore, aka Giacomo ran the Italian grape program for Mondavi winery where he worked for 20 years. Now he brings his expertise in the varieties to his own project. Jim’s interest in Italian varieties began in the 70’s long before Pinot Grigio became ubiquitous in our market.

Then when the exceptional Italian vintages of 1982 and 1985 were released, Jim’s palate for Italian wines exploded. Inspired by these wines, he worked on developing two vineyard trial blocks to evaluate their performance. While at Mondavi, he created La Famiglia di Robert Mondavi and launched Lucente from Tuscany - a collaborative effort with the Frescobaldi family of Florence that helped him continue to build expertise in Italian grapes.

Today Jim has transformed into Giacomo with l’Uvaggio di Giacomo. His wines are made to three requirements: lower levels of alcohol, distinctive flavor profiles and harmonious expressions. Jim says his wines are “crafted for food affinity, bringing an Italian sensibility to the American table.” The wine’s primary role is to accompany food, so he focuses on their accessibility, harmony and value.

You won’t find many reviews for Jim’s wines as he doesn’t submit them to critics and barely has a website, but luckily for us he spends his time on creating darn good wines.

The Nebbiolo grapes for this blend were sourced from Stolpman Vineyard that has a following for its excellent fruit amidst cool ocean breezes. Most of the 2002 was used in a Bonny Doon bottling, but Jim procured enough of the 2003 for himself. This blend speaks to the heart of Piedmont lovers who cellar Barolos and serious Barberas to perfection before consuming. It doesn’t have the huge punch of a Barolo, but il Lupo’s dried rose petal bouquet is followed by a perfumey palate of soft tobacco, cherry and cranberry goodness. At this sub $20 price point, it qualifies as a screamin’ good deal.

—Dini Rao

Dini Rao has 12 years of wine experience, working in senior roles for both Amazon’s and Christie’s wine programs. At Christie’s, she evaluated the world’s finest wines for auction, including wines dating back to the 1700s. Dini earned a Diploma with Merit from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust ® and is a candidate for the Masters of Wine, which only 30 people in the US hold. Follow Dini on Twitter: @dinivino

More on Jim Moore

For a person who walked many vineyard rows throughout several decades for numerous others, the creation and development of Jim Moore’s own wine label - Uvaggio - is a gratifying achievement. Jim’s innovative approach toward winemaking in combination with traditional techniques and alternative varietals allow him to create wines with a distinct Italian flare, from grapes grown in the New World. The style of Uvaggio wines is true to everything Italian-ate. Tasting them blind, one might actually imagine they might come from Italy. With just one taste it is evident these are not typical wines from a typical winemaker.

Snooth
89

"Tarry, woodsy and earthy on the nose and though this is 2/3rds Barbera it’s the Nebbiolo that makes it’s presence known first. This is somewhat evolved with dried plummy fruit and a meaty character backed up by some tobacco edges and a bit of oak. On the palate the Barbera is the dominant player, adding it’s acid cut early to the palate and adding liveliness to the blackberry toned fruit. The mid-palate shows wood tannin and picks up some slow to emerge floral tones as well as a nice tarry edge. The finish is long and dry, austere almost with subtle but distinct dried cherry fruit edged in wood spice tones. This still has some sweetness from its time in wood and the richness of the Barbera up front but is definitely transitioning into a more austere, firm, Nebbiolo influenced wine as evidenced by the long, tense, pure fruit on the finish. Drink em soon if you like the richer fruity style or let them age in order to allow all the delicacy and complexity this wine has in reserve to make itself known." Gregory Dal Piaz

Uvaggio Website