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Birichino, Pinot Noir St Georges 2017
Pinot Noir 100%
Alex Krause & John Locke
The 2017 St Georges derives primarily from the elegant, floral, very small-berried pinot of the decades-old Besson planting at the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains. To its register of expansive red floral notes we add the muscular, brooding, deeply-flavored old selections of pinot from a couple of vineyards planted 1800 up in the Chalone AVA . These sites together bring exceptionally textured depth and lifted aromatics to this dynamic Central Coast bottling.
Fermentation averaged about 35% whole cluster, with a higher proportion of the Chalone lots left whole, and after several days in stainless and bins, native fermentation got going, and we put a preliminary blend down to cement tank and neutral barrel in October. We racked just once when final barrel selections were made, prior to bottling unfiltered in July
Founded in Santa Cruz in 2008 and drawing on a combined 35 years making and selling wine in California, France, and Italy owners and winemakers Alex Krause and John Locke are focused on attaining the perfect balance of perfume, poise, and puckishness, with a particular fondness for varieties that provide enormous pleasure. Birichino, pronounced biri-kino and Italian for mischievous, is a project born from inspiration. John worked from 1990 to 2007 with the legendary Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon, with (the equally legendary) Andre Ostertag of Domaine Ostertag in Alsace in 93, and with a host of small producers across Italy and south-western France. Alex started in 92 with Randall and worked with John in the cellar before escaping to the sales side in the late 90s. Sourcing from a number of carefully farmed, family-owned, own-rooted 19th and early 20th century vineyard planted by and large in more moderate, maritime 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, working with stainless or neutral barrels, minimal racking and fining, and avoiding filtration altogether when possible. The pair consider themselves very fortunate to be able pursue what they know and love and also are deeply grateful for the opportunities they have had to work with some tremendously talented winemakers in the Old and New Worlds over the past 20+ years, and for the experiences their generosity of time and spirit have offered.