Sunday, March 16, 2008

What, you've never had Uvaggio???

Uvaggio is one of those wines that make life worth living. This wine label is a fun one to look at if you are learning how to navigate the world of Italian wine labels.

The Proprietá Sperino vineyards are located in the foothills of the Alps in Maraine (glacier deposited crushed stones and earth) soils coming down from Monte Rosa. Uvaggio is what is under the cork. Coste della Sesia is the regional DOC under which the wine was made.
Coste della Sesia is a regional DOC located in Piemonte.Coste della Sesia refers to the banks of the Sesia River which comes down from the Alps through Peimonte. Uvaggio in Italian signifies a blend of grapes done before fermentation as opposed to Vinaggio, a blend of wines. Rosso designates this as a red wine. Paolo De Marchi is the proprietor and wine maker with his son and partner Luca De Marchi. This is the second Uvaggio since the resurrection of the vineyard and from what I've been reading, the 2005 vintage is superior to the 2004 release.

The De Marchis are now producing high quality wines from a vineyard that was abandoned in '52. One hundred years ago, there were approximately 100,000 acres of vineyards in the region. The vineyards went into decline and are now climbing back to around 2,000 acres.

Proprietá Sperino
Costa della Sesia D.O.C.
Vintage: 2005
Blend: Nebbiolo 65%, Vespolina 20%, Croatina 15% within the rules of the D.O.C.
Alcohol: 12.5
Price: $30.99

Color: Garnet
Intensity: Medium
Aromas: Currant, rose, mint, earth, licorice, smoked meat, vanilla, chocolate
Flavors: Strawberry, raspberry, pomegranate, mint, earth tar, anise, allspice, black pepper, jasmine, coffee, chocolate
Body: full
Sweetness: Dry
Tannins: Silk
Finish: Long

Summary: Is there such a thing as a vanilla bomb? That is what came off the glass. I expected a disappointing over-oaked wine, but was very surprised that the vanilla gave way to mint, earth, licorice and smoked meat. This wine is balanced like a fine Swiss watch. Sandalwood tannins in the long finish with spice. As the wine evolved in the glass, it became floral. We enjoyed this wine with strawberries and Humboldt Fog cheese.

This is not the first Piemonte wine that is from resurrected vineyard land that we've reviewed. I think we are seeing something exciting coming, the resurgence of Piemonte as a contender for some the worlds most interesting wines. Time will tell.


Orion Slayer said...

Thanks for the step by step explanation of the Italian wine label. That really helps dicipher what's on the label.

It's interesting that this wine is called Uvaggio. I recently had a local wine (Lodi, California) from a maker called Uvaggio. I did a post on this white wine made from 100% Vermentino. The grower makes many Cal/Ital wines. Your Uvaggio sounds really good, I'll have to try it/