Birichino "Saint Georges" Zinfandel 2018

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Producer: Birchino
Varietal: Zinfandel
Region: Santa Cruz, 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. They source their grapes from a number of carefully farmed, family-owned 19th and early 20th century vineyards. Theirs is a preference for marine-influenced climates and own-rooted vines. The vines of this particular vintage were planted by a bootlegger in 1922; a centenarian vineyard in the truest sense.

Birichino is dedicated to a minimal intervention approach, most often favoring native fermentations, employing stainless or neutral barrels, minimal racking and fining, and avoiding filtration altogether when possible. Their aim is to make delicious wines that give pleasure, revitalize, and revive.

The 2018 vintage was a cool one, 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.  This vintage combines the leanness and acidity of an Italian Primitivo with the fruit and centerstage presence of a traditional California harvest.