Vintage 2021

Bechtold Cinsault Old Vines, Birichino

Birichino
Product Code: AB02ZZRC

Tasting Notes

One of the few California Chardonnays that behaves like a Grand Cru Chablis. Exhibits a nervous edge as well as loads of lemon butter, green apple and whitecurrant-like characteristics, laser-like precision, superb acidity and surprising intensity as well as richness. "Bechthold is often advertised as the oldest planting of Cinsault remaining on Earth, having been planted in 1886, and we have no reason to believe otherwise. The vines themselves are visually glorious and the object of frequent anthropomorphizing, being regularly compared to wizards or wizened altekaker. We are partial to Whothrophomorphizing, as they remind us of Dr. Suess characters, likely uprooting themselves and walking about the moment we turn our backs on them. Though Lodi is more associated with large scaled, rich, often boozy red wines, Bechthold Cinsault can successfully call to mind, with a small leap of imagination, a classic vintage of Cru Beaujolais. Bright floral notes and cranberry tang on the top end act as a foil to the more earthen, underbrush and rocky flavors that persist on the palate. "

Profile

Cinsault
13
UNITED STATES
12
Cork
Arpent Birichino
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            [Notes1] => One of the few California Chardonnays that behaves like a Grand Cru Chablis. Exhibits a nervous edge as well as loads of lemon butter, green apple and whitecurrant-like characteristics, laser-like precision, superb acidity and surprising intensity as well as richness.


"Bechthold is often advertised as the oldest planting of Cinsault remaining on Earth, having been planted in 1886, and we have no reason to believe otherwise.  The vines themselves are visually glorious and the object of frequent anthropomorphizing, being regularly compared to wizards or wizened altekaker.  We are partial to Whothrophomorphizing, as they remind us of Dr. Suess characters, likely uprooting themselves and walking about the moment we turn our backs on them.   

Though Lodi is more associated with large scaled, rich, often boozy red wines, Bechthold Cinsault can successfully call to mind, with a small leap of imagination, a classic vintage of Cru Beaujolais.  Bright floral notes and cranberry tang on the top end act as a foil to the more earthen, underbrush and rocky flavors that persist on the palate.   "			
			
			
			

            [Notes2] => This historic 100 hectare property lies 3.5 kilometres north of Calistoga, at the base of Mount St. Helena. The region lies on a complex terroir with a mixture of alluvial and volcanic soils, some on the flat, some on steeply sided hillsides. Extending out from the Napa River is the alluvial soil, the most prevalent type on the property. In the back and outside areas of the vineyard are volcanic soils, formed by ancient lava flows caused by tectonic uplifting. Sustainable farming is practised  avoiding the use of any chemical fertilisers. Instead organic chicken manure and compost made with the previous season`s pomace - seeds, stems and grape skins left after crushing is used. Ladybirds are used to combat unwanted pests, and light ploughing is done to keep the vineyard clean and free from weeds. Harvesting is carried out at night to preserve the fruit.
            [Notes3] => 
            [Notes4] => One of the few California Chardonnays that behaves like a grand cru Chablis. Exhibits a nervous edge as well as loads of lemon butter, green apple, and white currant-like characteristics, laser-like precision, superb acidity, and surprising intensity as well as richness.
            [MediaNotes] => its` been featured in the MW exam that Harriet`s taken, and awarded various point scores, written about by Jancis Robinson in the Financial Times and many other publications,  but we don’t really pay attention to such stuff , sorry. 
            [ServingSuggestion] => "Wild boar, rosated salmon, boeuf bourguinon, lamb, lentils. Given its quite ethereal nature, our particular  bottling of Cinsault  works quite well as a foil for  pairings with rich foods like stews, braised and roasted meat dishes of all types. But given its delicacy, we find it also works well with lighter fare, like meatier roasted or grilled, smoked salmon or tuna steaks or swordfish with spicy, peppery sauces. And something about its slightly earthy nature also suggested vegetarian dishes with lentils and mushrooms as another nice pairing suggestion. 
"			
			

            [WineMakingNotes] => Lest anyone dispute the virtues of old vines, one need only look to Bechthold Vineyard in Lodi. The site itself has its pros … and its cons. It can be, and is, farmed organically, and without irrigation. The soil type, Tokay Fine Sandy Loam, is rich in granitic minerals washed down from the Sierra Nevada over the millenia by the nearby Mokelumne River. Lodi may be the coolest area of the Central Valley, the evening temperatures moderated by breezes from the Sacramento River Delta. However, beastly hot daytime temperatures during July and August can be punishing for the vines, and the workers who tend and pick them. Grapes from younger vines in the neighborhood, albeit of different varieties, are demonstrably greener at the same levels of ripeness, as is typical in warm climates, and after weeks-long stretches of 100+ degree temperatures look as though they have been through a few rough innings. By way of some only partially understood alchemy, these 135 year-old vines shrug off these high temperatures, and bring home fully flavored grapes at remarkably modest levels of alcohol, and often surprising acidities.


Cinsault Bechthold Old Vines
Fruit was picked by hand at night. We then trucked it down to the winery, and destemmed it entirely, lightly crushing the fruit so that we could bleed off a little juice for making rosé as well as make red wine. This is the only red variety we perform any saignee (bleeding off) of juice- for all other components of our rosés, we only directly press them. This particular section of the Bechthold Vineyard tends to be a little later-ripening, which means it ends up naturally with a little higher acidity and a little lower brix (sugar) which suits our needs perfectly as we aren’t looking to make boozy, bruiser cartoon wines, but instead pick this vineyard on the earlier side, for rose, and make red quite literally as a by-product of our rosé. Once destemmed and crushed, we let it warm up naturally and after a day or two it begins 
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About this product +

Producer >

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 favouring 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.

Viticulture >

This historic 100 hectare property lies 3.5 kilometres north of Calistoga, at the base of Mount St. Helena. The region lies on a complex terroir with a mixture of alluvial and volcanic soils, some on the flat, some on steeply sided hillsides. Extending out from the Napa River is the alluvial soil, the most prevalent type on the property. In the back and outside areas of the vineyard are volcanic soils, formed by ancient lava flows caused by tectonic uplifting. Sustainable farming is practised avoiding the use of any chemical fertilisers. Instead organic chicken manure and compost made with the previous season`s pomace - seeds, stems and grape skins left after crushing is used. Ladybirds are used to combat unwanted pests, and light ploughing is done to keep the vineyard clean and free from weeds. Harvesting is carried out at night to preserve the fruit.

Winemaking >

Lest anyone dispute the virtues of old vines, one need only look to Bechthold Vineyard in Lodi. The site itself has its pros … and its cons. It can be, and is, farmed organically, and without irrigation. The soil type, Tokay Fine Sandy Loam, is rich in granitic minerals washed down from the Sierra Nevada over the millenia by the nearby Mokelumne River. Lodi may be the coolest area of the Central Valley, the evening temperatures moderated by breezes from the Sacramento River Delta. However, beastly hot daytime temperatures during July and August can be punishing for the vines, and the workers who tend and pick them. Grapes from younger vines in the neighborhood, albeit of different varieties, are demonstrably greener at the same levels of ripeness, as is typical in warm climates, and after weeks-long stretches of 100+ degree temperatures look as though they have been through a few rough innings. By way of some only partially understood alchemy, these 135 year-old vines shrug off these high temperatures, and bring home fully flavored grapes at remarkably modest levels of alcohol, and often surprising acidities. Cinsault Bechthold Old Vines Fruit was picked by hand at night. We then trucked it down to the winery, and destemmed it entirely, lightly crushing the fruit so that we could bleed off a little juice for making rosé as well as make red wine. This is the only red variety we perform any saignee (bleeding off) of juice- for all other components of our rosés, we only directly press them. This particular section of the Bechthold Vineyard tends to be a little later-ripening, which means it ends up naturally with a little higher acidity and a little lower brix (sugar) which suits our needs perfectly as we aren’t looking to make boozy, bruiser cartoon wines, but instead pick this vineyard on the earlier side, for rose, and make red quite literally as a by-product of our rosé. Once destemmed and crushed, we let it warm up naturally and after a day or two it begins

Awards +

its` been featured in the MW exam that Harriet`s taken, and awarded various point scores, written about by Jancis Robinson in the Financial Times and many other publications, but we don’t really pay attention to such stuff , sorry.

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