Thursday, April 9, 2009

UVAGGIO, Lodi, CA. Italian Varietals, Dry, Classic Style Wines W/ Deborah Passin & Arielle Monaco Thurs. April 9th, 2009


     Arielle Monaco brought Deborah Passin here earlier today, Thursday, April 9th, 2009 to taste a " new " series of California wines ( reds, a white and a dry rose ) and I fell in love with them all! They are dead-ringers for dry, traditional European wines and I was dumbfounded to be tasting them being made in California, and Lodi at that. Wow, impressive : a dry Vermentino 2007 ( $14.99 ) that really has great body and acidity and minerals, too. I loved it : that got us started right.

     Then Deborah poured me some of the rose 2007 ( $16.49 , a Barbera-based rose I believe ) that I enjoyed because it worked on so many levels and had so many layers of flavor that came into play at different stages : almost as if it had been orchestrated to do this.

     The three reds were two Barberas : a non-vintage " Rosso Vecchio " dry , earthy , pungent, gamey barnyard of warm, damp, dusty-dry-mineral and spice and tar, leather and tobacco flavors. The next which was vintage dated 2005 had more of the same and at the end when I went back to taste them one more time ( twenty minutes later ) I found the non-vintage " Rosso Vecchio " Barbera ( $16.49 ) to have a darker berry/cherry flavor with all the fruit married nicely in sweet, pungent, nice-smelling oak : and the vintage dated Barbera ( $19.99 ) to be a bit more forward with more bright red cherry/berry flavors married in the same oak. They were mirror images of one another and would probably make a great wine if blended together!

     The last one was a Sangiovese blend " Il Ponte " Fra Due Terre  and it was the most soft, bright, elegant and refined of the lot. It was also the most expensive at $32.99 a bottle. I did love it's subtlety and for certain meals it would work best like veal or a delicate pork tenderloin.

     I will buy all of these wines for Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ( 3423 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20008, sales@clevelandparkwine.com, www.clevelandparkwine.com Tel : 202-363-4265 ). They will arrive in the store the first week of May. I believe firmly that they will be a revelation to many that like really traditional, classic-style European wines. They prices are very fair and I think the quality is excellent. They are great food wines in my opinion.

     I found out that Deborah Passin pictured here with Arielle also sells " new " oak barrels made from Hungarian oak and one other which I forget. For more technical information on UVAGGIO go to : debbie@knoxbarrels.com  Tel : 415-751-6306, San Fransisco, CA. Deborah can fill you in on more about Jim Moore and Mel Knox ( owners - Jim is the winemaker, too ).

     Cheers and come by to check this fabulous, dry, complex, heady, earthy wonders from California out : you will be stunned!   TONY













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