This old-vine wine hails from a vineyard Birichino winemakers John Locke and Alex Krause describe as a dinosaur boneyard. The pair ferments the grapes with ambient cultures in stainless steel, and the wine rests on lees in a mix of steel and neutral French oak.
The result is tropical, both lively and lavish, suffused with a heady perfume of pineapple and ripe stone fruit, and the palate is unctuous, a rippling mélange of passion fruit, apricots, melon, and Meyer lemon. Scintillant acidity brightens both the front and back of the wine, while a stony (bony?) streak runs through the middle.
Luscious, ample, but also direct, it’s a wine that serves equally as aperitif and table partner. Try it especially with pilafs studded with fruits and nuts, roasted poultry or salmon, or aged tomme style cheeses.
And as with all Chenin: it will only get better with age.
2018 Birichino Chenin Blanc Old Vines Jurassic Park Vineyard Santa Ynez Valley
13% ABV | $23