Now this is a superb wine. Before opening it, I admit I was expecting something very sweet and ripe, in the new world mould. But what I got was something thrilling, elegant and amazingly drinkable. It’s from a vineyard planted in 1910, with vines on their own roots. Birichino, pronounced biri-kino, seems a very interesting project indeed.
Birichino Grenache Vieilles Vignes Besson Vineyard 2010 Central Coast, California
13.5% alcohol. Made with natural yeast fermentation, a bit of whole cluster, and no fining or filtration, from 100 year old vines. Lovely aromatics: morello cherry, spice, sweet herbs and even a hint of wood smoke. The palate is fresh, cherryish and a bit sappy, with sweet (but not too sweet) fruit, elegant texture and some savoury structural notes. Fresh but not at all angular, and brilliantly drinkable. 92/100 (UK agent Fields, Morris and Verdin)
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