Though they've only been making wines since 2008, Birichino (pronouonced 'biri-kino', Italian for being mischievous) has made a sizeable impact on the Californian wine scene as one of the best names to know for 'hands-off' winemaking. Their initial focus surprisingly was Malvasia, creating uniquely floral yet dry examples of the grape that few were even attempting, and shortly thereafter finding vineyards to source for making equally unique reds. Their methodology- native yeasts for fermentation, neutral oak, use of whole clusters for both reds and whites- generally creates more of a European/Old World style with less alcohol and extracted character, but adds vibrancy and a distinct racy freshness that has won over many many fans. The bulk of fruit for their St Georges series of wines comes from the Besson Vineyard, a family farm first planted by Italian bootleggers at the turn of the 1900's, and exists merely yards below the southern boundary of the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA. For the Pinot Noir they source some additional fruit from nearby vineyards in the Chalone AVA and Lime Kiln Valley, with all the fruit handled to the same care as their home vineyard. The resulting wine is definitively Californian, but runs contrary to the stereotype of what Cali Pinot tends to be. Zigs where it usually zags, snappy instead of sappy, a flurry of punches instead of a knockout swing. The nose is full of dark cherry and cool cola with no heady tones or sweetness, with some citrus notes as it opens up more and more. The palate is where the wine either makes it or breaks it for Pinot fans; crunchy, tart red fruits with very fine and light earthy tannins, finishing with a mouthwateringly citrus and blood orange note. If you like it jammy, this won't be your, well, jam. If you like it lithe and racy, you will be in love.
Leave a Reply.
The Best of the Best.
We offering free tastings on these wines in the store every Thursday and Friday, and a 10% discount off the retail price through the duration of the day. Come on by and give them a try!