Birichino

 

 

Country: 

  • United States

Region: 

  • Central Coast

Winery Website: 

Grapes: 

  • Malvasia Bianca
  • Chenin Blanc
  • Grenache
  • Cinsault
  • Zinfandel
  • Pinot Noir

Alex Krause and John Locke founded Birichino in Santa Cruz in 2008. Drawing on a combined four decades making wine in California, France, Italy, and beyond, they are focused on attaining the perfect balance of perfume, poise, and puckishness. Sourcing from a number of carefully farmed, family-owned, own-rooted 19th and early 20th century vineyards (and a few from the late disco era) planted by and large in more moderate, marine-influenced climates, their preoccupation is to safeguard the quality and vibrance of their raw materials. Their preference is for minimal intervention, most often favoring native fermentations, employing stainless or neutral barrels, minimal racking and fining, and avoiding filtration altogether when possible. But most critically, their aim is to make delicious wines that give pleasure, revitalize, and revive. 

Wines:

  • Birichino Monterey Malvasia Bianca 2013:  As has become our habit, we picked this in the middle of the night on September 19th, gave it some extended skin contact all night long and into the early morning hours. As the first bins hit the press, we were blown away with the scents of Hawai’i, so unbelievably pronounced and lovely was the aroma, and so immediately apparent. We have never experienced anything like it in more than 20 vintages working with this vineyard and this variety. Fermentation began low and slow in stainless steel, at temperatures of about 10C/50F. Our Frangipani blossom special, the 2013 kept fermenting well into February. We kept it on the lees (and rails) and stirred it every few weeks for an additional 3 months for added texture and dimension before bottling it in May.
  • Birichino Santa Ynez Jurassic Park Vineyard Chenin Blanc 2013:
  • Birichino California Vin Gris 2014:
  • 2012 Besson Vineyard Grenache:  For the Besson grenache’s 102nd harvest, we commissioned a new label from a 16th century Swedish encyclopedist. How a Swedish academic, working during the Little Ice Age on a history of the Nordic Peoples could produce an image which so precisely evokes our coastal ranges, rugged sea shore and brilliant California sun is a mystery. Produced as we do our pinots, we minimize punchdowns and extended macerations that risk over-extraction in favor of partial whole cluster fermentation with native yeast, and the inclusion of a small proportion of Grenache “rested” for 8 days in picking boxes placed before fans. The latter is a practice of Barolo producer Armando Parusso; a shortened apassimento to allow the stems alone to dry, and when subsequently fermented whole cluster, they contribute an entirely different set of complex wild peach and vivid winter spice aromatics. After 10 months in neutral barrel, we blended this special lot into the main cuvée before bottling, unfiltered. Its vibrant yet delicate hue recalls pinot and cooler vintages, yet the flavors are more candied and expressive of brambly wild raspberry and kirsch. Highly aromatic --and ideally suited to a Burgundy glass-- the finish brings fine yet persistent ninja tannins that creep up, quietly, from behind.
  • Birichino Mokelumne River Bechtold Vineyard Cinsault "Vignes Centenaires" 2012:
  • Birichino Central Coast St. Georges Vineyard Zinfandel 2013:
  • Birichino Central Coast St. Georges Vineyard Pinot Noir 2013:
  • Birichino Santa Cruz Mountains Lilo Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012:
  • Birichino Monterey Malvasia Bianca "Petulant Naturel" 2013:
Williams Corner Wine Selection