Birichino Bechthold Vineyard Old Vines Cinsault 2018  Front Label
Birichino Bechthold Vineyard Old Vines Cinsault 2018  Front LabelBirichino Bechthold Vineyard Old Vines Cinsault 2018  Front Bottle Shot

Birichino Bechthold Vineyard Old Vines Cinsault 2018

    750ML / 12.5% ABV
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    3.5 7 Ratings
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    3.5 7 Ratings
    750ML / 12.5% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    For those new to this wine, the Bechthold Vineyard, planted in 1886, reputedly constitutes the oldest block of Cinsault on Earth. This is an historic little neighborhood. The Shinn Family’s old Carignane vines are literally around the corner from the Bechthold Vineyard. The Shinns have been farming their land since the 1850s. Even the families are intertwined – Matt Shinn’s wife Evonne is a Bechthold. In 2017 the old Carignane vines prospered despite the ferocious heat of late August and early September, while the old Cinsault took it on the chin a bit. During the benevolent vintage of 2018, however, both sites excelled. No wine is more emblematic of the Birichino style than Bechthold Cinsault Rouge. These are the only grapes on which we perform saigner. They grow in a very hot area, an area beloved and derided for its large scaled, often lazy, high alcohol caricatures. So here we have a somewhat artificially concentrated wine from an indisputably hot area, already known for concentrated wines, produced by a house known for modestly proportioned wines, and yet somehow, unaccountably, it is hardly our lushest red, but indeed our most superficially diminutive. It is important to emphasize the “superficially” bit, for while it tips in at a mere 12.5% alcohol with an unimpeachably civilized greeting; the handshake squeezes a tad more forcefully than anticipated. It acts like nothing so much as an old school Cru Beaujolais – all violets and room temperature molten rock

    Critical Acclaim

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    Birichino, California
    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?
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    Lodi Wine


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    Positioned between the San Francisco Bay and the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the Lodi appellation, while relatively far inland, is able to maintain a classic Mediterranean climate featuring warm, sunny days and cool evenings. This is because the appellation is uniquely situated at the end of the Sacramento River Delta, which brings chilly, afternoon “delta breezes” to the area during the growing season.

    Lodi is a premier source of 100+ year old ancient Zinfandel vineyards—some dating back as far as 1888! With low yields of small berries, these heritage vines produce complex and bold wines, concentrated in rich and voluptuous, dark fruit.

    But Lodi doesn’t just produce Zinfandel; in fact, the appellation produces high quality wines from over 100 different grape varieties. Among them are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc as well as some of California's more rare and unique grapes. Lodi is recognized as an ideal spot for growing Spanish varieties like Albarino and Tempranillo, Portugese varieties—namely Touriga Nacional—as well as many German, Italian and French varieties.

    Soil types vary widely among Lodi’s seven sub-appellations (Cosumnes River, Alta Mesa, Deer Creek Hills, Borden Ranch, Jahant, Clements Hills and Mokelumne River). The eastern hills are clay-based and rocky and in the west, along the Mokelumne and Cosumnes Rivers, sandy and mineral-heavy soils support the majority of Lodi’s century-old own-rooted Zinfandel vineyards. Unique to Lodi are pink Rocklin-Jahant loam soils, mainly found in the Jahant sub-appellation.

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    A charmer in the Southern Rhône Valley, Cinsault thrives in any hot and windy climate, and finds success in many other countries. It is a parent grape alongside Pinot Noir, of South Africa’s acclaimed red grape, Pinotage. Somm Secret—Given its relatively long history in California, Cinsualt is often “hidden” in the Zinfandel blends of Sonoma and Contra Costa Counties. Historically planted alongside Zinfandel (with Petite Sirah and Mourvedre) in the same vineyard, Cinsault is now an essential part of many “field blends.”

    CWM4P1518_2018 Item# 603370

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