Birichino Vin Gris 2019
The great Rosé debate – to whole cluster press or Saignée – keeps sommeliers and geeks up late, Birichino believes the right vineyards are of greater importance than the method. The distinguishing traits of the 2019 are an increased percentage of old vine fruit, especially Mourvèdre from a dry-farmed 19th-century vineyard in Antioch. Old vines contributed almost 30% to the blend having this vintage marked by a silky, ample, curvilinear quality in the equatorial regions, and a resulting bit of va va VOOM. As Grenache yields in El Dorado County and at Besson were less than half normal levels, Birichino turned to a striking site in deep Arroyo Seco whose grapes produce a highly aromatic style of Grenache, even more, peachy than the high-altitude El Dorado fruit. At the same time, the aforementioned Mourvèdre provides the wine with the gentlest bit of spine. Vinified as a red, these grapes can produce a tannic, meaty, muscular wine. As rosé, a complete transformation occurs. “Like the ideal Provencal Rosé,” say Birichino owners John Locke and Alex Krause, “our Vin Gris allies the suggestion of citrus, rosehip, orchard fruits and violet pastilles with the enigmatic imprint of garrigues—the wild herbs which aromatize the Provençal countryside.”. Luck has it they secure an extra bit of 127-year-old vine Cinsault from Bechthold, which contributes the violet top note, elevated further by a small quantity of particularly fresh and vivid Vermentino from the Napa side of Carneros. Almost entirely the product of direct press and fermented to dryness in stainless tanks. Though some grapes may be Alpine, the inspiration remains coastal – the relevant coast being the Côte d’Azur. To complete the classic Provençal encépagement, they include – in a single sequential fermentation via wild yeast!
A bottle will set you back less than $20—spend the change on a crusty baguette and a 4oz wheel of Champlain Valley Creamery Organic Triple Créme and get ready for an afternoon in the sun.
Birichino Vin Gris $15.99
Champlain Valley Creamery Triple Créme 4oz- $7.99