2016 Birichino “St. George Vineyard Old Vine” Santa Cruz Mountains Zinfandel

SKU #1336618 90 points Wine Enthusiast

 Fresh and broad aromas of strawberry and red currant meet with peppercorns and crushed oregano on the nose of this bottling of old-vine Zin from southern Santa Clara County. It's a lighter style on the palate, with bright red plums, crushed river rock and a good helping of herb flavors.

K&L Notes

Winemaker's notes: "Own rooted, ninety-three year-old vine Zinfandel from a cool spot up against the Santa Cruz Mountains. Planted by a bootlegger in 1922, and farmed continuously from father to son by the Besson family for the past ninety years. Native ferment, neutral barrel, unfiltered."

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Price: $24.99

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Staff Image By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/2/2018 | Send Email
A unique take on Zinfandel. The 96-year-old vines are planted in a cool environment in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The marine influence, along with stainless steel fermentation and neutral oak aging, keeps the alcohol level low, and fruit flavors bright and fresh. This is a lighter take on Zinfandel without compromising on flavors, and the limestone soils really elevate the wine’s profile.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Zinfandel

- The bid to name Zinfandel California's "State Varietal" may have failed, but this red wine grape, grown extensively in California since the mid-1800s, is grown in few other places in the world. Sadly, much of what's cultivated today is planted where it's too hot and flat. But when planted to well-drained, hillside vineyards that are warm but not too hot, like those in Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley and Amador County in the Sierra Foothills, Zinfandel can produce wines with plenty of character. High in natural alcohol and tannin, grown carefully it can be rich and complex, with dark fruit berry fruit and peppery spice. The most known example of Zinfandel outside of California is Italy's Primitivo, which can be similar in style, but is often a bit lighter and less alcoholic than West Coast examples.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Cruz Mountains

- Vineyards dot the valleys and ridges of this coastal AVA just south of San Francisco. Microclimates make it difficult to generalize, and vineyards are frequently separated by acres of forests and meadowlands (not to mention entire towns!), but this is nonetheless known as a cooler-climate zone ideal for pinot noir. Ridge is doubtless the most famous local producer, with its cabernet blend, Monte Bello, named after a Santa Cruz mountain peak. High-quality, low-production chardonnay and some Rhône varietals prosper as well.
Alcohol Content (%): 13