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2018 Birichino "Scylla" California Old Vine Red Blend (Elsewhere $24)

SKU #1458522 93 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark Quite ligh t in the glass, this blend of 50% Carignan, 48% Grenache and 2% Mourvèdre starts with earthy aromas of soil, gamy charcuterie and freshly crushed scents of cran-raspberry and strawberry. There’s a rugged, meaty tone to the sip, which is offset by bright and snappy pomegranate flashes, leading into pepper and herbs toward the finish. (MK) Inner quote mark (1/2021)

91 points Vinous

Outer quote mark Deep, brilliant garnet. Vibrant, spice-accented red and dark berry aromas are complemented by a building floral nuance. Seamless and fleshy on the palate, offering juicy black raspberry, cherry and candied lavender flavors that smoothly blend depth and energy. Finishes very long and lively, with lingering florality and just a hint of delicate, polished tannins. There's superb value here. (JR) Inner quote mark (10/2020)

K&L Notes

Birichino is not a brand-new winery, having been around for a decade now, but its popularity is gaining strength as people look toward older California vineyards for their vibrancy and concentration of fruit. Founders Alex Krause and John Locke source their fruit from family-owned vineyards planted in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The unique environment in which the vines are planted has allowed for phylloxera resistance and therefore they have been able to survive, own-rooted. Because they have such amazing material to work with, these guys aim for minimal intervention in the winery, favoring native fermentations, neutral oak and little filtration. The under-$20 price tag for all of their offerings is astonishing given the stunning quality of the wines and the historical nature of many of the sites that contribute to them. The 2018 Scylla is their second vintage of this Carignane-Grenache-Mourvèdre blend sourced from the Mokelumne River section of Lodi, Grenache from the Besson vineyard, and Mourvedre from the Enz family in the Central Coast. Winemaker notes: "A wine of focused, high-toned, bright red fruit with an undercurrent of something more savory, wild, and dark. As was the case in 2017, all fermentations proceeded without inoculation, and the various components matured in neutral barrels before bottling in June without filtration. All Scylla, no fylla."

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