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It is a rare privilege to work with perhaps the oldest significant planting of cinsault in the world. Picked at the end of August, within the first few hours we saignéed a small amount of juice for our Vin Gris. Though our Vin Gris is produced via direct whole cluster pressing for every other component, we could not resist the temptation to have our cake and eat it too, making a little red wine and rosé by judicious use here of saignée. As with the Vin Gris, the fermentation is with indigenous yeast, and the 2016 Bechthold Cinsault red is the epitome of Birichino style- condensed, focused, and complete, yet without leaning on weight and extraction. Cinsault is a surprisingly versatile variety, especially as the product of 130 year-old vines. As a component of our rosé, it radiates nothing but sunshine, tenderness and light. But here, as a red wine, it reveals added dimensions of rock, earth, and deep dark fruit. Drink of it, and partake of vines that witnessed the birth of the automobile, the dawn of the 8 hour workday, and the dedication of the Statue of Liberty, La Liberté Eclairant le Monde.
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