Birichino Saint Georges Pinot Noir (750ml)
Winemakers Alex Krause and John Locke make wine in Santa Cruz and are located centrally to the vineyards that they work with. They have access to fruit that is farmed by many third genration European farmers. They have worked with some of the grates in the trade like California’s Randall Graham, Alsace’s Andre Ostertag as well as some small producers in Madiran and Minervois in France and Puglia and Piedmont in Italy. The diversity of their experiences is reflected in the unique personality of their wines.
Tiny, immaculate Pinot Noir clusters sourced from just below the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains on limestone soils up against the Santa Lucias, and from 1800′ up in the Chalone AVA were fermented with native yeast to produce aromas of red cherry and raspberry liqueur, at once racy and concentrated with wisps of candied violet & spice. Unfiltered.
For the first time, the vast majority of Saint Georges comes from three blocks farmed by George Besson off the eastern flank of Santa Cruz Mountains. A field-grafted, rockier, steeper section of his site now lends additional support to its bright, lifted, red-fruited floral hallmark. A small amount of grapes are sourced from higher elevation vineyards (Lilo, Enz & Boer Vineyards) contributing to the wine’s overall freshness. You may be reminded of Pinot Noir from the Jura or Valle d’Aosta more so than those from Corralitos in the Santa Cruz Mountains, or the Santa Lucia Highlands roughly 10 and 40 miles away, respectively. This small corner of the Santa Clara Valley marks the red wines produced there by the scent of botanical extracts, mountain herbs, and cherry liqueur. The Saint Georges is bottled earlier than the single site wines, and carries less acidity and tannin. It is generally ready to roll right out of the gate. As always, this wine was vinified under the mysterious and prismatic auspices of wild yeast. Elevage was just shy of 1 year in cement and quite old barriques before we bottled, unfined and unfiltered, in early Fall of the following vintage.
Very light in the glass, but don’t let the appearance fool you- this wine is richer and more complex than you would think. Fermented using wild yeasts, partial whole cluster and bottled without filtration. This vintage was also partially aged in both concrete(1/3rd) and the rest in old barriques(2/3rd). Bright cherry, cranberry, strawberry and light floral notes on the nose, which follow through on the palate. Also present on the palate is a nice white pepper, strong minerality and light tannin presence. Fantastic as aperitif or with white meats, fish and vegetable dishes.