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Region: Colline Novaresi < Italy
Grapes: Uva Rara
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: organic farming, sandy soil, 45 year old vines, harvested late September, 5-day maceration, destemmed, fermented and aged in stainless steel for 6 months before bottling; 13% ABV
Winemaker: Francesco Brigatti
WHY IS THIS A UNICORN WINE? Duh – Uva Rara. Even the grape’s name, which translates as “rare grape”, emphasizes it’s obscurity.
We are all about championing little-known grapes, and Uva Rara fits the bill so perfectly – it literally translates to ‘rare grape’ – a grape that was traditionally cultivated as a blending partner for Nebbiolo. But what used to be the Kelly Rowland to Nebbiolo’s Beyoncé is now a diva in her own right. Thanks to farmers like Francesco Brigatti’s grandfather, who planted their first vineyard over 100 years ago, Uva Rara survived the whims of wine drinking fashion and is now getting her own star turn. Francesco’s Uva Rara vines are 45 years old and their age lends some deep, spicy and slightly gamey notes, which are totally welcome since the rest is all crushable cherry, strawberry spritz and crisp acidity.