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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