Saint Georges Zinfandel Old Vines, Birichino 2018


6 in stock

Street Wines View:

75cl bottle.

Harvest Date: 10/1/2018
Composition: Zinfandel 100%,
Appellation: Central Coast

Made from ninety-four year-old Zinfandel vines from a cool site nestled against the Santa Cruz Mountains. Plenty of fruit but expressed in a well made lighter more refreshing style.

Based in Santa Cruz, Birichino was founded in 2008 by friends Alex Krause and John Locke. Alex and John met whilst working at Randall Grahm’s Bonny Doon Vineyard and share a passion for perfumed, elegant but slightly mischievous wines; in fact, Birichino is Italian for ‘mischievous’! The Birichino style is very much in the vein of ‘New Wave California’. The focus is on drinkability, fruit expression, elegance and lower alcohol levels. Oak is rarely seen, whole bunch is embraced, native yeasts are in and filtration is out. Alex and John source grapes from reputable growers, who farm very old vineyards in mostly maritime-influenced or higher altitude areas such as Monterey or Santa Cruz Mountains but they also work with some extremely old vineyards in Lodi. Their Cinsault from the Bechthold vineyard is made from the world’s oldest Cinsault plants. These wines represent exceptionally good value, given their pedigree.

Critic Reviews:

We extolled the virtues of the relatively cool vintage 2018 for
producing elegant, streamlined, highly aromatic and complex
wines. Those qualities emerge more strongly in Saint Georges
Zinfandel than any Birichino confrère. The advertised abv of
13.0% recalls old vine zinfandels from a bygone era. The truth
always outs when evaluating the merits of a given site over a
period of vintages of varying character. 2017 and 2018 were
polar opposites with regard to vintage conditions, though the
vineyard produced equally compelling, if completely different
wines. The site was first planted on gravelly loam soils by an
Italian bootlegger in 1922 in the lee of the Santa Cruz Mountains, on the wrong side of the law and the road, and 50’ too low
to qualify for what became the Santa Cruz Mountains appellation in 1981. Yet the mountain and marine influence of Monterey
Bay 12 miles west is undeniable- the acidity is mouthwatering,
yet enhanced by a stone fruit spectrum of flavors and alpine
herbs overlaid on the brambly sapidity of zinfandel. Farmed
continuously from father to son by the Besson family for the past
ninety-five years. Native ferment, elevage in neutral barriques
and demi-muid. Unfiltered. -Alex & John

91 pts, Vinous, Oct 2020,
91 pts, Wine Enthusiast, Dec 2020