Vintage 2021

Scylla, Birichino

Birichino
Product Code: AB06ZZRC

Tasting Notes

Garnet in colour. Vibrant, spice-accented red and dark berry aromas on the nose are met by beguiling floral nuances. Fleshy and yet seamless on the palate, the aforementioned fruit builds layers of complexity. With delicate, polished tannins, there is a depth and energy to this wine.

Profile

Carignane, Grenache
Red
13%
USA
California
12
Cork
Birichino
75cl
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            [Description] => Scylla California
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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.


the 2021 Scylla recalls the scent of Besson Grenache more so than Carignane from any of the three sources of Carignane – mostly Montague with a splash of Mule Plane and Little Big Block.  Botanical tinctures, cherry liqueur, menthol and various hinted at, though unidentified alpine forest scents accompany Besson Grenache on all of its travels, and combine to suggest a roving band of amaro producers’ clandestine intervention in periodic barrel topping.  On the palate, however, it’s a different kettle of sea monster.  The various pieces of Carignane inject an earthiness and stoniness not normally associated with Grenache, without weighing it down.  All Scylla, no fylla.   
            [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.
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            [ServingSuggestion] => Pizza! Meaty pasta sauces and meatier fish like tuna or swordfish, especially with pepper sauces. Quail, Guinea Hen with Matsutake Mushroom and Onion.			
			

            [WineMakingNotes] => Winemakers frequently demonstrate a predictable, exuberant and alarming fascination with the self-serving when providing assessments of a given vintage.  The in/famous vintage chart provided by a prominent wine reviewing publication would leave one to believe that roughly 85% of vintages rate as above-average or better.  This seems counterintuitive somehow, though these notes are not intended to be an exegesis on the divine writings or mathematics of the Lords of wine criticism.  That being said, believe me now and hear me later, I am here to pump up the 2021 vintage as spectacular.  [Editors note:  see www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Mk1nykjnYA].  Almost every growing region in California enjoyed excellent weather from push, flowering and set in spring, through a summer with few if any heat spikes into a long, benevolent autumn, producing small to medium sized crops of even, immaculate clusters – a recipe for fully and intensely flavored grapes capable of producing highly complex and harmonious wines, even at very modest levels of alcohol.  



Scylla
For Scylla, which is a blend of 51% Carignane and 49% Grenache, we also hand-harvest at night and in the early morning. The Carignane hails from a couple of vineyards planted in the late 1920s /early 1930s up in Lodi. We destem all of the Carignane from one of the 2 carignane sites, and the other, we leave a little bit whole, and add back a little of the stems from the other. Fruit was not crushed at all, though, unlike with the Cinsault. For the Grenache, we leave a bit whole, and also destem the majority so that in total, roughly 20% of stems were included in the ferment when all’s said and done. These lots, too, were fermented native in open-top stainless tanks, and received the same twice daily pumpover routine once the native yeast population grew up and started really going after a couple days. Unlike many California producers who intentionally prolong macerations up front (before fermentation) with extended “cold
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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 >

All fermentations proceeded without inoculation, and the various components matured in neutral barrels before bottling in June without filtration.

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