Grape(s): 100% Grenache
Localization: Central Coast, California, USA
Tasting Notes: The winery's study of this 110-year-old, dry-farmed vineyard keeps getting better each vintage. Fresh red currant and raspberry aromas are lifted by chaparral, gravel and turned earth on the nose. There's an herbal grip to the palate, as a rocky structure frames red currant, crumpled carnation and rose tea flavors.
Food pairing: Enjoy with roast trout
The Domain: 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. About the name- Birichino- biri-kino. Like locksmiths in the United States that add additional AAAs onto their names to be the first listed in the telephone directory, and drawing on deep reserves of innate marketing genius, we went in search of something unpronounceable to English speakers, yet also difficult to remember that began with A or B. Alluce was an early favorite, seeming to evoke lightness and air in English, but in fact translating as big toe. Seeking something with that playfulness, though about some things we profess to be deadly serious, and inspired by the surprising, slighty racy character of our first wine, the Malvasia Bianca that leads one on to thinking sweet, and delivers something else entirely, we hit on Birichino, meaning naughty in Italian. And who doesn't consider themselves just a little bit naughty, after all?