2018 MALVASIA BIANCA, Birichino. Monterey, California
Alcohol Percentage: 13%
Area: Monterey is south of San Francisco, near Carmel. This comes from vineyards on the western slopes of the Salinas Valley, where cool nights retain the freshness in the grapes.
Grape Variety: 100% Malvasia Bianca, vines originally brought to the US from Calabria in the early 20th century
Producer: Birichino is a spin-off from the Bonny Doon vineyard, both partners Alex Krause and John Locke having worked with the famous Randall Grahm. Their aim is to make fresh, modern style California wine, a world away from the sweet and oaky identikits that have long dominated the market. Birichino means naughty, or mischievous!
Food Match: Perhaps too over-powering for the dinner table; I like a glass 'on arrival', particularly if some nibbles are on hand. The winemakers' recommendations, however, deserve to be quoted "lemon rosemary chicken, calamari, snow crab, steamed mussels, sheep or goat’s milk cheeses, citrus salads, pan-Asian cuisine [curries, lemongrass, ginger, etc.], braised lamb shank with caramelized onions [really!!], patio furniture."
Old Bridge Rating: Strong floral nose - you might dream of lime, jasmine and elderflowers. If you get stuck, consult the back label for even more far-flung suggestions. After all that it's surprisingly (and pleasantly) bone dry
Press Reviews: "Great flavour concentration on the nose – lime, floral and tangerine. Finishes quite light in body, with a lovely tangy length. Unusual and delicious, and shows a decidedly fresh face compared with the usual suntanned Californian norm. 16/20" - Richard Hemming on jancisrobinson.com.
James Halliday Wine Companion: "If you are looking for an exotic wine, full of spice, apple, quince and more, then this is the wine for you; thoroughly intriguing, it is a wine in two parts, showing exotic fruits and hedonistic perfume on the one hand, and delivering razor sharp acidity and mineral complexity on the other; simply put, this wine is a heck of a lot of fun."
£19.95 per bottle
£18.95 per bottle in a mixed case of 6 bottles
£17.96 per bottle in a mixed case of 12 bottles