Here's another beauty from the Cal-Ital (California/Italian) maestro Jim Moore. A ruddy purple in color, it sports a full nose of plums, allspice, nutmeg, leather and tar and tastes of red fruits and black raspberry, with spicy notes and dry tannins. Good luck finding a better tasting Barbera this side of the Atlantic!
Plums, nutmeg, camphor, apple skins, tar, chocolate, mocha, leather, bay laurel, anise, cloves, green peppercorns, brine, black raspberry, graphite, apple and macerated cherries.
Winemaker Jim Moore fell in love with Italian wines while heading up Mondavi's Italian winemaking venture. While doing recon, he literally walked the vineyards of Tuscany and Northern Italy, giving himself a thorough tutorial in the regional varieties and winemaking techniques. In 1997, Jim launched his own label, L'Uvaggio di Giacomo (literally "the blend of James"), to craft distinctive wines from notable Italian grape varieties grown and vinified in California.
The il Lupo showcases a blend (or Uvaggio) of late-harvested Barbera and Nebbiolo from vineyards in the Sierra foothills and Santa Ynez Valley. Each was fermented separately and then blended and aged in a combination of old and new oak. Barbera, long underappreciated and considered subordinate to noble Nebbiolo, has sparked some buzz recently, here and in Italy. The most widely planted grape in Piedmont has taken well to California's microclimates (warm days, cool nights). Jim's il Gufo Barbera Rosato offers another deliciously refreshing take on this fantastic grape.
Piedmont in northern Italy is the original home to both the Barbera and Nebbiolo grapes. The region is as famous for its wines as its food, where recipes like risotto and osso buco find their origins. The Il Lupo definitely deserves rich food, and I am thinking of either pasta Carbonara or risotto. Since pasta Carbonara comes from the hills of Rome, I am going with my recipe for Risotto al Barolo, which pays homage to Piedmont. Don't forget a crusty loaf of Italian bread!
This Cal-Ital likes a little time to breathe. Keep swirling and enjoy how it evolves in the glass.
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