Elegant and Old School: 90pt, Pinot from Birichino

Posted on: 07/13/18 12:01 PM


Often when we’re tasting through ranges of wines to find options for this e-mail list, I’m struck by what a huge difference there is between ‘tasting’ and ‘drinking’. There’s a huge difference between a smell, a swirl and a spit, and really getting to drink and experience something properly. Sometimes one of the lineout really jumps out and screams ‘Take me home!!! Drink me!!!’- and this is a perfect example. One taste was not enough- the sun was out and I desperately wanted to grab the bottle, run out the door, find a good friend and the nearest roof deck, and sit really getting to know it. This is so delicious, so light, so energetic, and so magnificently (and this is a word that isn’t always used in such a positive way) – drinkable. It’s really not easy for wines to stand out like this against so much competition.

This is Pinot as it should be, intensely fruited but dainty and delicate to the core. One of those wines where just in the moment, with a glass of this in my hand and considering the price- I almost wonder ‘why do I bother drinking anything else?’.


2016 Birichino Saint Georges Pinot Noir

“Very light in the glass, this bottling from an old vineyard shows candied pomegranate, sage and thyme on the delicate nose. There is solid grip to the sip, with tangy cranberry and a pinch of white pepper. It is a great red wine for a sunny day.” 90 pts., Matt Kettman, Wine Enthusiast

More about the wine:

Birchino was founded in Santa Cruz 2008 by Alex Krause and John Locke, who between them had nearly forty years experience making and selling wine across California, France, Italy and more. I’ve been a huge fan of their wines ever since I tasted them for the first time with a small importer back in London. There I found the wines absolutely delicious, with remarkable elegance and restraint. My former employees sell this particular wine for an equivalent of a little over $40 and I would recommend it with gusto at that price in the UK. I am particularly thrilled to have them here, where the fact that we don’t need to ship them across an ocean means they are not only delicious but an absolutely screaming bargain!

Made using wild yeasts and 20% whole clusters, from five different old vines sites at altitudes up to 1800 feet and benefiting from cooling maritime influences, this perfectly treading the line between interest and ease, complexity and simplicity. The most outrageously drinkable wine I’ve tasted in ages- at the price this is nothing short of a masterpiece.

Posted in Reserve List By Guy Davies