Jim Moore of Uvaggio wines checks on a vineyard of grapes near Lodi. Chris Macias, Sacramento Bee.
2011's winding down, which means it's time for lists honoring the best wines of the year. And in this bit of good fortune, four local wineries received accolades in Wine Enthusiast magazine's "The Enthusiast 100." They are (cue drum roll):
Michel David of Lodi for its 2008 6th Sense Syrah (#11), Uvaggio 2009 Moscato Secco from Lodi (#25), Easton 2009 Monarch Mine Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc from the Sierra Foothills (#30) and Terre Rouge 2009 Viognier from the Shenandoah Valley (#63). (Note that both Easton and Terre Rogue are made by winemaker Bill Easton, and his "Easton" wines are non-Rhone varietals).
The nod from Wine Enthusiast was especially nice for Jim Moore of Uvaggio, a winery which specializes in Lodi-grown Italian varietals. Moore rarely sends his wines out for review, and when facing a world of competition from Bordeaux, Napa, the Rhone and other wine hot spots, he was happy to see Lodi get some love.
"It's the Rodney Dangerfield thing," said Moore. "Lodi doesn't get much respect, but I think that's changing."
The grapes for his moscato were grown in vineyards near Galt, Elk Grove and the Mokelumne River. It's a fairly small production wine - just over 400 cases were made - and comes with an especially nice price of $16. In terms of flavor, Wine Ethusiast raved about its "tremendous aromatics of honeysuckle and melon and a genius balancing between sweetness and acidity."