Grace Town Old Vine Zinfandel Lodi is amde from 98% Old VIne Zinfandel + 2% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Ruby red in color, with red fruit, raspberry, and spice on the nose. This wine is medium in body, with notes of ripe cherry, cedar box, cinnamon, anise, black pepper, and hint of smoke on the palate. It has a long, silky finish.
When the founding fathers of the Napa Valley carved out new sub-AVAs (American Viticultural Areas) in the 1980s, Soda Canyon Ranch was not yet on anyone’s map. The vineyard is neighbored to the northwest and west by the winegrowing districts of Stags Leap District and Oak Knoll District, respectively, which were among the early pioneers of California Cabernet Sauvignon to attain global fame. To the northeast and southeast—and further off the beaten path—were Atlas Peak and Coombsville, thought to be the next frontiers for the emerging wine-producing region.
With richness and depth of flavor, the 2018 Timeless Napa Valley is the embodiment of patience and attention to detail. Decades of experience at Soda Canyon Ranch allow winemaker Nate Weis and team to highlight the individual merits of each block. Combining the strongest lots from each resulted in a refined and harmonious bottling.
In 2018, the diurnal shift at Soda Canyon Ranch produced a darker, lusher fruit profile of Cabernet Sauvignon. Simultaneously, the overnight recovery periods resulted in expressive and refined Merlot, giving the wine a pleasant profile of bright, red fruit. With an extended harvest window, the signature, plush density and structure of Petit Verdot is also prevalent in the final blend. Cabernet Franc thrived in 2018 with its predilection for the cooler soils and the climate of blocks 5, 6, 16, 20 and 21—areas we call the Transition Zone and Hardpan Alley. The variety’s floral and tobacco-like aromatics are accentuated, and its more aggressive nature for back-end tannins tamed.
Once blended, the 2018 vintage rested in French oak barrels for 16 months, developing flavors of vanilla and baking spice. Velvety tannins dance across the palate of bright and lingering cassis. With a smooth finish, this is a comforting wine of elegance and depth—a sophisticated expression of the sedate summer.
This is a little old-school and shows lots of dark berry, chocolate and dried fruit. It’s full, dense and layered with fleshly sensibility. Velvety texture.
-James Suckling 93 Points
Alain Jaume Domaine du Clos de Sixte Lirac is made from 50% Grenache, 35% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre
An intense red garnet color. On the nose, aromas of red and black ripe fruit (kirsch and wild blackberry). The mouth is full, with aromas of blackcurrant liqueur and spice. Tannins are both harmonious and elegant thanks to the fleshiness of the wine. Hints of licorice and vanilla on the finish, which gives the wine length and complexity.
Soil type LIRAC vineyard is facing Chateauneuf du Pape, opposite side of the Rhône river. As showed by the picture and following geologist George Truc, soils are almost similar in both side. They are marked by the violence wrought by the Rhone river. It consists of a layer of marine molasses of the Miocene period covered by alpine alluvium. The presence of a great number of rounded stones known as "galets" in the earth is evidence of the time when the Rhone, then a torrent, tore fragments of rock from the Alps and deposited them on the plain. LIRAC is one of the up-coming best area from the southern Rhône valley, as it delivers outstanding wines. Winemaking & ageing Traditional wine-making in stainless still vats. Hand sorted bunches, crushed and destemmed grapes. Fermentation temperature : 30°C. 18 days of vatting with pigeages.
"Another top-notch vintage for this property, the 2018 Lirac Domaine du Clos de Sixte looks as if it may rival the 2016. It's 50% Grenache, 35% Syrah and 15% Mourvèdre, aging in concrete (70%) and barrels (30%). Floral notions mark the nose, while flavors of raspberries and apricots appear on the full-bodied palate. This seems creamy-supple at first, with steadily building tannins on the lengthy finish. - Joe Czerwinski"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #245, October 2019), 91-93 pts
It is hard to imagine with the Lithology range receiving 298 points out of 300 for the three single-vineyard wines, that there could possibly be a wine above them. But there is, and it is our Estate wine. Blended several times very intently by masters of their craft Philippe Melka and Michel Rolland, this is the ultimate expression of our house’s work. Positive, full-bodied, and quite powerful, there’s the expected crème de cassis and blackberry from St. Helena Cabernets, with mineral, herb, subtle tobacco and vanilla, plum skins, and pie crust, purple flowers, forest-conifer notes, and very fine tannic structure. It is a magnificent, and magnificently elegant expression of this house, and when asked recently, Monsieur Rolland stated plainly to me, “oh yes indeed – this is the best one, the best yet…”
The flagship 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Alejandro Bulgheroni comes from a selection made by winemakers Philippe Melka and Michel Rolland, mostly from Rutherford and Oakville fruit. Aged 20 months in 78% new French oak, it has incredible aromatics of black and blue fruits, spring flowers, and graphite to go with a massive, full-bodied, concentrated style on the palate that somehow stays graceful, weightless, and elegant. This tour de force in Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is guaranteed to put a smile on your face over the coming 20-25+ years.
-Jeb Dunnuck 99 Points
Alejandro Bulgheroni Lithology Beckstoffer Las Piedras Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
From a St. Helena vineyard planted by early Napa settler Edward Bale more than 150 years ago, and later serving as the estate vineyard for the area’s first winery built by Henry Pellet in 1860, the Las Piedras site always gives us our prettiest wine. When placed next to Dr. Crane and To-Kalon wines, the Las Piedras show a certain elegance, with a very graceful entry and finely detailed complexity. We produce it with at least 75% new French oak, so there is a floral, spicy, and vanilla accent to the intense red and black fruits, cassis, and black cherry liqueur. What distinguishes this bottling is the beautifully fine tannins, delicate texture, and stunning purity. (Less than 100 cases made.)
Fermentation 70% Oak, 24% Concrete, 6% Puncheon
"The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Lithology Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard comes from a world-class site outside of St. Helena and is all Cabernet that spent 20 months in 80% new oak. It offers a touch more red fruit as well ample cassis, spring flowers, loamy earth, and spice-like aromas and flavors. It has a wonderful sense of minerality, ultra-fine tannins, a dense, layered texture, and incredibly purity of fruit. It’s another just about off the charts release from this estate."
- Jeb Dunnuck 98 Points
Ancien Pinot Noir Carneros is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Pinot Noir Carneros comes entirely from the Toyon Vineyard, located in the Napa side of Carneros. This vineyard was originally planted for Ancien Wines in 1998 with cuttings tracing back to the Swan estate in Sonoma County and Dijon 115 - followed by cuttings from Ed Penhoet’s vineyard in Carmel Valley. Ed’s selection from River Selection is a story into itself, and is sometimes referred as “Pisoni Clone” since Gary Pisoni took cuttings from the vineyard in the early ‘80s.
Baking spice sings in an endless symphony with wild berry notes, complemented by characteristic Carneros notes of cola. Juicy cherry notes grace the palate and combine seamlessly with anise and hibiscus, ending on a savory note. The palate is round and full of textural, mouth-coating tannins balanced by a bright acidity. Broad chewy tannins, earthy spices and minerality complement the fruit and exotic floral notes of this wine. The palate of this delicious wine will continue to develop in opulence over years of aging, revealing even darker layers and an increasingly smooth texture.
"Pale to medium ruby-purple colored, the 2018 Pinot Noir shoots from the glass with bold scents of juicy red plums, Bing cherries and raspberry leaves, plus hints of rhubarb, dried Provence herbs and damp soil. Medium-bodied, delicately styled and refreshing with fine-grained tannins, it has a spicy kick to the finish. - Lisa Perrotti-Brown"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #257, October 2021), 90 pts
Uvaggio Vermentino Lodi is made from 100 percent Vermentino.
About twenty years ago we had a hard time even spelling Vermentino and today it is emerging as one of the more popular Italian white grapes. It is even catching on here in California, thanks in part to Uvaggio's efforts, because it seems to them the perfect white grape.
It possess the utility of many dry and non-barrel aged whites but perhaps with greater versatility and certainly more charm – not too thin, not too tart, not too herbal - in other words it lacks an Achilles’ heel - supple and accessible, without any challenges.
The 2018 botting showcases two decades of growing this variety in Lodi, across multiple sites spanning four different sub AVAs.
"Herbaceous aromas and bright citrus flavors give an almost-electric charge to this light-bodied, crisp and appetizing wine. Aromas of snap peas, parsley and fresh-cut grass lead to lemon and grapefruit flavors and a tingly mouthfeel. It's a perfect summer-to-fall drink." — Jim Gordon Wine Enthusiast
Uvaggio makes wine in California from grape varieties indigenous to Italy and the south of France.
Our theory is that if California has a climate which is great for growing Mediterranean varietals, why not take advantage of it? Since we have been on this path for a couple of decades now, we think we have found the right places, for growing these cultivar, primarily in Lodi So we urge you to discover this for yourself and try our wines.
Our expressions are steeped in California's traditions, with a nod towards Europe’s restraint, so you will our wines to be a contemporary synthesis of these two approaches. We produce white wines that are fresh, aromatic, dry and rarely exceed 12.5% alcohol. None of our barrel-aged reds are rarely exceed 14.5% alcohol. The only sweet wines we offer are purposely crafted to be sweet.
We are passionate about wine and food affinities, the magic that occurs when they resonant.
In By 1979 Jim had joined the Robert Mondavi Winery in Oakville and spent two decadess at what was then perhaps California’s most renowned, if not iconic, winery. Working for such an innovative and dynamic winery lead by a truly inspirational founder, afforded many benefits. In conjunction with course work in winemaking and wine business at UC Davis, his efforts resulted in several career milestones. Among them, he envisioned and developed La Famiglia di Robert Mondavi in California, while helping to launch Luce and Lucente from Tuscany - a collaborative effort with the Frescobaldi family of Florence.
Some of his other accomplishments included developing two vineyard trial blocks to evaluate the performance of Italian and Rhône varieties. He also helped to develop the company’s Burgundian-inspired, Carneros appellation Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Jim reintroduced Zinfandel to the portfolio (from Napa Valley’s miniscule old vine sources) and totally revamped the style and packaging for Moscato d’Oro. His efforts earned many accolades, including three Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines of the Year, as well as a coveted “tre bicchiere” from Gambero Rosso, Italy’s pre-eminent wine guide. After being promoted to Assistant Winemaker, he was tasked with helping to elevate the quality of Mondavi’s entire Napa Valley portfolio and planned cellar renovations.
In 1998, Moore left Mondavi to develop l’Uvaggio di Giacomo, which translates as “the Blends of James” (or in other words “Jim’s Wine”) which he had begun with the 1997 vintage. He also served as the consulting winemaker for several new Napa Valley start-up ventures, along with helping revive the fortunes of a small, family winery in St Helena. Seeking a break from Napa Valley, in early 2003 he became Director of Winemaking for Bonny Doon Vineyard/Ca’ del Solo, only leaving to devote himself full time to revitalizing his Uvaggio project.
Today the Uvaggio label is a vinous statement four decades in the making. The diverse portfolio consists of a range of wines, though focuses on Vermentino and Primitivo. Emphasizing attributes like vibrant flavors, moderate pricing, lower levels of alcohol, and balanced expressions, these are wines crafted for food affinity and daily enjoyment, bringing an Italian sensibility to the American table. With a belief that wine’s primary role is to accompany a meal, the success of the Uvaggio rests on three important attributes - their accessibility, harmony and value.
Jim Moore is a graduate of UCLA and has traveled extensively in northern and central Italy and for several years worked side-by-side with winemakers in Tuscany. Valuable time was also spent during repeat visits to France’s Burgundy and Bordeaux regions. Jim resides in Napa, endeavoring to explore new vinous horizons daily.
Jim Moore’s creation and development of his own wine label - Uvaggio - is a gratifying personal achievement. His approach to winemaking seeks to optimize each vineyard’s potential by using rather basic and straightforward techniques to craft distinctive wines from lesser known grape varieties grown in the New World.
His winemaking style is as much Mediterranean as it is Californian Tasted blind, one might actually imagine they come from regions bounded by the Adriatic or Tyrrhenian Seas, not the Pacific Ocean. These are not typical wines from a typical winemaker. With a career spanning four decades and having vinified grapes from most of California’s diverse regions (and in several parts of Italy) and across a broad range of cultivars (everything from Arneis to Zinfandel), his winemaking experience is prodigious, differentiating the Uvaggio wines from California’s typical, Franco-centric offerings.
Jim’s interest in Italian grape varieties began long before Pinot Grigio became ubiquitous in the market. While working in restaurants during college, followed by managing a fine wine retailer, his exposure to a vast spectrum of the world of wine inspired taking up a career in winemaking.
Mel Knox’s insight, knowledge, curiosity, and connections were ultimately parlayed into a successful business importing and selling wine barrels. Taransaud and François Frères are among the French cooperages he helped establish as the go-to barrel manufacturers for winemakers in the USA. He has subsequently had wine cuvées (and children) named after him, and although presently immersed in a state of semi-retirement, he staves off senescence with his involvement in Uvaggio.
Finca los Cedros Single Vineyard Malbec is made from 100 percent Malbec.
Single vineyard wine from the Finca los Cedros vineyard in Paraje Altamira (3,600 ft. elevation). Planted in high density (8,000 plants per hectare) on calcareous gravel soils, this Malbec has a fresh & easy-drinking style with a mineral character.
Intense purple color. Plum, brambly berries, spices and an iris/violet note are apparent on the nose. Intense, fruity flavors with velvety tannins.
Fermentation with indigenous yeasts. Aged 12 months in oak barrels and concrete vats.
Excellent with roasted meats, duck, salad, pasta, pizza.
Siegel San Elias Carmenere is made from 100 percent Carmenere.
The nose shows beautiful red and dark fruit aromas, earthy notes and violets with balanced acidity. Supple and round in the mouth, juicy tannins, good concentration.
The wine pairs well with full flavored cheeses and lamb.
Babylons Peak Viognier-Roussanne is made from 60/40 blend of Viognier and Roussanne
Babylon's Peak winery, situated on the highest weathered granite slopes of the Paardeberg Mountain, is privately owned by the Basson family who has passed down the tradition, passion and art of winemaking over four generations. Predominantly low-yield dryland bushvines are selected to produce these excellent wines with distinctive character.
Complex flavors of flowers, peach, dried pear and apricot with a long, smooth finish on the palate.
Marea Albarino is made from 100% Albariño
This 100% Albarino is produced from fruits grown in Kristy Vineyard, on the western bench overlooking the Salinas River on broken sediment of ancient sea beds. Kristy is special because Albarino in the vineyard reaches full phenological ripeness at low potential alcohol and natural, bright acidity. Cold fermented in stainless steel for aromatic intensity.
Bright, fresh and crisp with notes of lemon curd and tangerine. On the palate it shows elegant texture and bright acidity on the finish.
Picked under 22 brix, 2/3 whole cluster pressed, 1/3 destemmed and left on skins for two days. Aged on the lees for four months and then sterile filtered.
Pairs with oysters, grilled fish, spicy cuisines.
Continuum Red Blend 2017 MAGNUM is made from 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, 9% Petit Verdot, 9% Merlot
2017 was a vintage of extremes, with abundant rain in the winter months and record-breaking heat waves during the growing season. A testament in resiliency, the wine bears the hallmarks of the elevation and terroir at Sage Mountain Vineyard, showcasing exquisite vibrancy, many layers of flavor, ferrous minerality and fragrant wild herb notes. 2017 Continuum shows freshness, hinting at rose petal on the nose with cacao, black cherry and plum giving way to a plush, silky mid palate. Fine tannins of crushed stone and subtle undertones of tapenade are present through a beautifully persistent finish.
Wonderful blackberry and blackcurrant aromas here with hints of mint and fresh sage. Some cassis. Wrought iron, too. Full-bodied, tight and elegant with lovely tension. Beautiful. Ends fine and focused. Drinkable now, but better after 2022. -James Suckling 98 Points
A blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, 9% Petit Verdot and 9% Merlot, the deep garnet-purple 2017 Proprietary Red soars out of the glass with notions of baked blueberries, plum preserves and blackcurrant cordial, backed up by nuances of chocolate mint, wild sage, violets and pencil shavings, plus an earthy hint of Chinese five spice. The rich, seductive, full-bodied palate is jam-packed with spicy black fruit preserves, framed by wonderfully plush tannins and a lively backbone, finishing long and opulent. -Wine Advocate 97+ Points
Finca La Pared Graciano is made from 100 percent Graciano.
Finca La Pared Graciano is a powerful graciano that is perfectly integrated with the oak. It shows remarkable notes of fresh spices and dark fruit. Reserved, serene, deep black. Restrained feel.
"The creamy, cedary oak has seeped into the minty blackberry and blue fruit, with deep notes of cocoa powder and tar. Restrainedly plush and flavorful, with a concentrated and full-bodied palate. Dense and silky with a little warmth in the finish. Drink or hold."
- James Suckling (June 2022), 93 pts