Birichino Saint Georges Old Vines Zinfandel 2019
Birichino extolled the virtues of the relatively cool vintage 2018 for producing elegant, streamlined, highly aromatic and complex wines. Those qualities emerge more strongly in Saint Georges Zinfandel than any Birichino confrère. The advertised abv of 13.0% recalls old vine zinfandels from a bygone era. The truth always comes out when evaluating the merits of a given site over a period of vintages of varying character. 2017 and 2018 were polar opposites with regard to vintage conditions, though the vineyard, planted in 1922 up against the lee side of the Santa Cruz Mountains, produced equally compelling, if completely different wines in these vintages. Here, the acidity is mouthwatering, yet the telltale stone fruit spectrum of flavors announce that to deprive oneself of chicken tagine with apricots or couscous with nectarines and toasted almonds - as one’s dietary inclinations inform - is to ignore the furtive hope that the summer will bring with it an overflowing bowl of cherries, literally and/or figuratively. Farmed continuously from father to son by the Besson family for the past ninety-five years. From a cool spot up against the Santa Cruz Mountains. Native ferment, neutral barrel, unfiltered.
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.
Unapologetically bold, spice-driven and jammy, Zinfandel has secured its title as the darling of California vintners by adapting well to the state's diverse microclimates and landscapes. Born in Croatia, it later made its way to southern Italy where it was named Primitivo. Fortunately, the imperial nursery of Vienna catalogued specimens of the vine, and it later made its way to New England in 1829. Parading the true American spirit, Zinfandel found a new home in California during the Gold Rush of 1849. Somm Secret—California's ancient vines of Zinfandel are those that survived the neglect of Prohibition; today these vines produce the most concentrated, ethereal and complex examples.