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Birichino St Georges Zinfandel 2020

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Birichino St Georges Zinfandel 2020
Producer Birichino
Region, Country Santa Cruz, USA
Bottle Size 750ml
Case Size 12
Product Code 21527-750

Santa Cruz. From the same vineyard as the Saint Georges Pinot Noir (Besson’s Home Ranch), the Zinfandel vines were apparently planted by an Italian bootlegger in 1922. Rooted in granite and sandy loams, Besson’s ungrafted Zinfandel benefits from morning and afternoon sun, while the unusually fresh marine-moderated night-time temperatures permit full expression and flavour development without requiring exacerbated degrees of alcohol. The yields from these old, well-established, own-rooted vines are meagre, averaging just one tonne per acre.

To showcase the grape’s fresher, nuanced, and silkier side, the Birichino boys pick their Zin early, usually between 13 and 13.5% potential alcohol. At the same time, the low-impact winemaking is geared towards balancing the fresh acidity and juicy fruit offered by this unique Santa Cruz vineyard. In 2020, full maturity and equilibrium in the vineyard were reached at 14.5%. So, while it may not be super-typical of the Birichino style, it still remains a mile away from the brawny, hulk-like examples of brand Zinfandel.

Fermented with 10% stems, there is a lively, saline feel to the wine’s depth of bramble and-tea scented fruit, and the longer it stays in the glass, the better and better it gets. Plump red berry, lots of spice, and Fernet flavours seep out on the palate before the wine finishes with the kind of savoury grip and mouth-watering freshness that remind you the Pacific Ocean lies only 12 miles to the west. It’s rare to taste a Zinfandel as classy and nuanced as this.

Birichino St Georges Zinfandel 2020

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