Birichino Malvasia Bianca Monterey 2009
Temperamentally, we are very sympathetic with the ideals of the Natural Wine Movement. Malvasia bianca, however, apart from being highly exotic and headturningly lovely, vexingly turns on its head the notion of Natural Winemaking. Our task list reads something like this: 1A] grow the grapes in a spot and in such a fashion as to have potential for clusters oozing with complexity, mineral crunch and perfume, yet capable of revealing these virtues with elegance and balance; 1B] pick ripe enough to achieve all the good stuff, but not so ripe as to end up with a dearth of acidity and clarity, or an excess of alcohol; 2] wring every sliver of aromatic potential out of the skins and pulp between the moment of harvest and the initiation of fermentation; 3] try to act like a nervous yet tolerant parent and hope no one falls out of a tree or develops a lifelong fondness for Twinkies. Steps 1A, 1B and 3 progress pretty much au naturel. Step 2 is our own little black box of expertise. We pick and hold the grapes in such a way as to extract the full whack all of the terpenes and other highly aromatic compounds which distinguish varieties such as malvasia, muscat, riesling, etc. We employ a combination of gentle Champagne and long escalation press cycles to cajole all the aromatic potential, without ending up with a bitter, brown, high pH mess. The entire process has been imagined to maximize the flavor and complexity resident in the grapes themselves, without adding anything not there in the first place. On one hand, this seems nothing if not an extraordinary effort to mine that which is wholly natural, what the Burgundians might reverently call” The Hand of God” – that which produces Burgundy. On the other hand , it is not something one might expect to occur spontaneously in Nature, and thus constitutes what the Burgundians might pejoratively refer to as “The Hand of Man” – that which produces Bordeaux. Finally, we are great proponents of extended yet judicious lees contact and frequent bâtonnage, which here creates a lovely, creamy texture as a foil to Little Malvasia’s nervy acidity. We are not trying to do as little as possible. We try to bring to the bottle as much of what is good as possible and nothing else – and in the end, as with all of life’s great endeavors, find harmony in the end result.
This is a fantastic expression of Malvasia- quite perfumed, yet with really laser-like freshness and focus, and still managing rich texture and lime, apricot, and lychee fruit on the palate. finishes totally dry, with just a touch of lees character. great balance.
Intensely perfumed, yet bone dry on the finish. Jasmine, lime citrus, a touch of grapefruit-- stylistically akin to sauvignon but racier than most, and with great length and even a touch of menrality on the palate. Wow! Superb with seafood- I tried with crab, also smoked birds, even sushi or lemongrass curries.
Surprisingly light in terms of mouth-weight but packs a punch of crisp lychee and mango fruit. On the floral side, it has fresh elderflower notes, all wrapped up in lime freshness - and this is a really fresh, appealing wine.
Could have a little stronger flavor
Was it just my bottle, but this one was too sweet, like the grapes released too much sugar.
Food Pairings for Birichino Malvasia Bianca Monterey
Her fragrance of jasmine, lime blossom and elderflower suggest something quite sweet and sybaritic, though as the first sip passes the lips, she is revealed bone dry, crystalline, and clear.
Dietary Information: Vegan
2400 cases produced.
Aged 7 months in Steel.
Notes: tempertaure controlled INOX
|Alcohol: 12.5%||pH: 3.38|
|Sugar: 0.1 grams per liter||Total Acidity: 5.9 grams per liter|