Birichino Besson Vineyard Old Vines Grenache 2019
George and Martha Besson’s old Grenache vineyard near Gilroy is one of the best sites with which Birichino works. It could be nothing but Grenache, yet tastes like no other Grenache. While the wines ultimately revert to their highly refined center of gravity as they resolve some time 4 or 5 years after bottling - an elegant composition of tertiary spices, fruit liqueur and alpine botanical extracts - Besson Grenache generally comes out of the gate dominated by one of those elements. The 2018 falls squarely in the liqueur corner, the effect of the rested fraction of the grapes being at least temporarily buried beneath the considerable cherriosity.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The winery’s study of this 110-year-old, dry-farmed vineyard keeps getting better each vintage. Aromas of fresh red currant and raspberry are lifted by chaparral, gravel and turned earth on the nose. There’s an herbal grip to the palate, as a rocky structure frames red-currant, crumpled carnation and rose-petal-tea flavors. Editors’ Choice.
The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast California wine district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley.
Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.
While the Central Coast California wine region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few Central Coast reds and whites. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.
Grenache thrives in any warm, Mediterranean climate where ample sunlight allows its clusters to achieve full phenolic ripeness. While Grenache's birthplace is Spain (there called Garnacha), today it is more recognized as the key player in the red blends of the Southern Rhône, namely Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes du Rhône and its villages. Somm Secret—The Italian island of Sardinia produces bold, rustic, single varietal Grenache (there called Cannonau). California, Washington and Australia have achieved found success with Grenache, both flying solo and in blends.