Planted by Dick Graff at 1800’ elevation on a northwest-facing slope, Antle lies within sight of the Pinnacalitos, near the East entrance to Pinnacles National Park. Located within the Chalone AVA in the Gabilan Mountains, the organically farmed Antle vineyard’s limestone and decomposed granite soils are planted to old selections of Chalone, Swan, and Pommard pinot that produce a singularly expressive, intensely aromatic wine of depth, dimension, and structure that we hope transmits some of the vivid natural beauty of this otherworldly site. We picked the 2014 vintage starting at 2am on August 18th under the stars of the Milky Way and the Perseid Meteor showers, to a soundtrack provided by three separate packs of coyotes. After a year and a half in old French barrels and demimuids, we bottled, unfiltered, in January of 2016. "The vineyard’s volcanic soil, granite and limestone nestled high up near the Pinnacles National Park help coax intrigue into these lovely Chalone AVA grapes. Made of organic grapes transformed into a 13-percent-alcohol bouquet of black cherries, earth, cola and mystery herbs, this is one distinctive wine. The tannins rein everything into a well-formed harmony. Birichino’s stylistic trend toward mineral-driven, low-alcohol creations is upheld by this muscular creature, more living organism than artifact. Every moment of its tasting, from aroma to finish, feels complete and balanced. Not a weak moment in the entire experience."-Christina Waters, Good Times.
There's a lot of wild thyme, dusty creek bed and rainy cement on the nose of this bottling, with only the slightest hint of cranberry fruit. The palate's tension is tremendous, which is common for the appellation, with crushed sandstone and rugged earthiness cloaking the cran-hibiscus flavors. It's lightly bodied but firm with upright tannins.
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 favoring 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.
About the name- Birichino- biri-kino. Like locksmiths in the United States that add additional AAAs onto their names to be the first listed in the telephone directory, and drawing on deep reserves of innate marketing genius, we went in search of something unpronounceable to English speakers, yet also difficult to remember that began with A or B. Alluce was an early favorite, seeming to evoke lightness and air in English, but in fact translating as big toe. Seeking something with that playfulness, though about some things we profess to be deadly serious, and inspired by the surprising, slighty racy character of our first wine, the Malvasia Bianca that leads one on to thinking sweet, and delivers something else entirely, we hit on Birichino, meaning naughty in Italian. And who doesn't consider themselves just a little bit naughty, after all?
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”
*Order must be placed by 11/29/2020. Applies to standard shipping only. Order must be at least $49 excluding shipping and tax. Expedited shipping options may require an additional charge. Not applicable to Hawaii and Alaska orders. A standard shipping charge will appear at checkout but the promo code will credit an amount back so that you do not pay for shipping. Promotion does not apply to corporate orders. Not valid on Bordeaux Futures. Offer valid subject to state law limitations.