A brilliant, natural California Grenache

Birichino Grenache

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)

Find this wine with wine-searcher.com

5 comments to A brilliant, natural California Grenache

  • How are you doing Jamie?

    Glad to hear there’s some Cali natural wine making its way across the pond.
    Just last weekend I was at the ‘Garagiste Festival’ in Paso and came across Ambyth Estate…completely natural and biodynamic.
    Was so surprised by the quality of their wines!
    The movement is slowly gaining momentum here…but there is still reluctance for some reason.

    -Louis

  • Great tasting note Jamie and it was enough to inspire me to request a sample for my shop. Day one: bright cherry fruit and an amazing texture, day two brought intense savouriness and tremendous length. Needless to say, we’re going to be stocking it, many thanks for the recommendation.

  • Richard

    Storyteller Restaurant in Cheltenham Spa stock this. Good food too.

  • Piers

    Any idea if this is available retail anywhere in the UK? I can only seem to find the Malvasia at the moment.

  • Steve

    Just tried this wine and really enjoyed it for its freshness and brightness. And the nose is lovely. Also enjoyed the typo on the back label that suggests “Savor it over a smokin’ hot girll…” So I enjoyed it with my wife.

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