August Domestic Wine: 2012 Birichino Malvasia Bianca, Monterey, CALIFORNIA
Birichino is committed to producing distinctive, harmonious, highly energetic wines which transcend the casual wine drinkers’ typical realm of experience. Founded in Santa Cruz in 2008, and drawing on a combined 35 years making and selling wine in California, France, and Italy, owners and winemakers Alex Krause and John Locke are focused on attaining the perfect balance of perfume, poise, and puckishness with a particular fondness for varieties that provide enormous pleasure and reestablish a direct connection to the sensual world.
History of Malvasia and its Relation to Birichino: Krause and Locke, owners and winemakers at Birichino, first laid eyes on their Malvasia Bianca in the rain shadow of the Santa Lucia Mountains back in 1991. Over the decades, they’ve seen Malvasia with lots of botrytis, with gargantuan acidity; with modest acidity; vines with both under and overripe grapes; Malvasia exhibiting every variation Mother Nature can concoct. They had never seen, however, something close to perfection until 2012.
In 2012, Birichino started sourcing Malvasia from the original block they worked with from 1990-2005, which is a bit closer to the Santa Lucia Highlands and also a bit rockier soil. The soil is more decomposed granite, with less clay. The 2012 vintage is a bit more aromatic, perhaps a bit finer and more precise in the profile, where 2011 is a little broader. These are 25+ year old vines now, and they are excited to have the older block from now on.
Varietals: 100% Malvasia Bianca
Alcohol: 13.0% by volume
Tasting Notes: The name Birichino means mischievous and impish; and this white wine from the Malvasia grape certainly lives up to that. On the nose, its pure tropical fruit, with strong hints of lychee and mango which when on the palate move to flavors of ripe fruit, jasmine and elderflower, with a refreshing finish. A great summertime sipper!
Food Pairings: Because Malvasia has an interesting combination of rich and oily mouth feel, but strong acids…deep-fried foods actually pair very well with it. Try with something salty, sweet, or savory to experience the nuances of the wine!
Jim Lutfy’s thoughts: “Rich and exotic with flavors of melon, tropical fruit, and passion fruit. An intense glass of wine! The wine is hedonistic and exotic. The finish lasts for at least three minutes on your palate. Enjoy!”-JL