Birichino Jurassic Park Vineyard Old Vines Chenin Blanc 2015 Front Label
Birichino Jurassic Park Vineyard Old Vines Chenin Blanc 2015 Front LabelBirichino Jurassic Park Vineyard Old Vines Chenin Blanc 2015  Front Bottle Shot

Birichino Jurassic Park Vineyard Old Vines Chenin Blanc 2015

  • D93
  • WE90
750ML / 13% ABV
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750ML / 13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

We are delighted to release our third vintage from what are considered old vines in Southern California: 33 year-old vine chenin planted in the Late Disco era on its own roots at 1100’ elevation. This sandy, rocky dinosaur boneyard vineyard has rapidly become one of the more sought-after sites for this noble variety on the Left Coast, and has the unusual atmospheric element of being surrounded by an active oilfield, suggesting deep geologic origins for its focused, mineral aspect. Harvested before dawn on August 27th, this is perhaps the most tightly-wound vintage we’ve yet produced from the site, and we expect it to be drinking beautifully for a number of years. Fermentation with indigenous yeast took place in stainless, and élevage sur lie continued through the spring in stainless and neutral French oak barrels.

Critical Acclaim

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D 93
Decanter
Made from old vines planted on a vineyard site where dinosaur bones have been found, located at an altitude of over 300 metres where the vines benefit from day time fog and cool nights. With natural yeasts, ageing sur lie and maturation in neutral barrels, this Chenin Blanc has mineral notes on the nose, a smooth palate and a dry, stony finish.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
Very light on the nose, this bottling from 37-year-old vines shows squeezed lemon wedge, chilled Asian pear, hints of jicama and white rose petals on the nose. The citrusy palate is driven by a grapefruit pith flavor and enhanced with a touch of chalk. The texture is compellingly grippy.
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Birichino

Birichino

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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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Ranging from cool and foggy in the west to warm and dry in the east, the Santa Ynez Valley is a climatically diverse growing area. The most expansive AVA within the larger Santa Barbara County region, Santa Ynez is also home to a wide variety of soil types and geographical features. The appellation is further divided into four distinct sub-AVAs—Sta. Rita Hills, Ballard Canyon, Los Olivos District and Happy Canyon—each with its own defining characteristics.

A wide selection of grapes is planted here—more than sixty different varieties, and counting. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir dominate in the chilly west, while Zinfandel, Rhône blends, and Bordeaux blends rule the arid east. Syrah is successful at both ends of the valley, with a lean and peppery, Old-World sensibility closer to the coast and lush berry fruit further inland.

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Unquestionably one of the most diverse grape varieties, Chenin blanc can do it all. It shines in every style from bone dry to unctuously sweet, oaked or unoaked, still or sparkling and even as the base for fortified wines and spirits. Perhaps Chenin blanc’s greatest asset is its ever-present acidity, maintained even under warm growing conditions. While most would agree it reigns supreme when from its birthplace of the Loire Valley, Chenin is the most planted variety in South Africa. California’s Clarksburg appellation is also winning more notoriety for its Chenin.

In the Glass

Chenin's drier versions commonly have characteristics of passion fruit, lemon, quince, green apple, saffron and chamomile while sweeter version express aromas and flavors such as yellow pear, white peach, persimmon, melon, ginger and honeysuckle. When aged in oak, qualities like meringue and brioche can be found. Sparkling versions often have yellow apple, ginger and floral notes.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Chenin blanc has the chalky acidity to work with light seafood such as oysters and shellfish. Off-dry styles work well with the sweet-and-sour nature of Thai and Vietnamese food. The sparkling versions such as Saumur Mousseux, Vouvray Petillant and Crémant de Loire make amazing aperitif options that won’t bruise the pocketbook.

Sommelier Secret

South Africa actually has double the amount of Chenin blanc planted compared to France. It is believed that either the Dutch navigator, Jan van Riebeeck, brought the grape to Cape Town in 1655 or the Huguenots fleeing France brought it in 1685. Either way, the South Africans have favored it for many centuries and make it in almost every style. Today a new wave of dedicated producers has committed to restoring old Chenin vines and finding the most ideal new spots for this prized variety.

FBR117865_2015 Item# 400659

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