2022 Birichino Malvasia Bianca (DRY), Monterey, Central Coast, California

2022 Birichino Malvasia Bianca (DRY), Monterey, Central Coast, California



Such redolent and intoxicating florist shop aromas!  One believes the aromas indicate ripeness and sweetness, but this crisp, thirst quencher is absolutely dry and a delight to drink by itself!  Perfect for autumn fare!  Try with pumpkin ravioli or soups.  Or try with sushi/sashimi, shimp-pork dumplings or pot stickers, moo shu pork, or Asian stir fries!

Alex Krause and John Locke founded Birichino in Santa Cruz in 2008. Drawing on a combined four decades making wine in California, France, Italy, and beyond, they are focused on attaining the perfect balance of perfume, poise, and puckishness. Sourcing from a number of carefully farmed, family-owned, own-rooted 19th and early 20th century vineyards (and a few from the late disco era) planted by and large in more moderate, marine-influenced climates, their preoccupation is to safeguard the quality and vibrance of their raw materials. Their preference is for minimal intervention, most often favoring native fermentations, employing stainless or neutral barrels, minimal racking and fining, and avoiding filtration altogether when possible. But most critically, their aim is to make delicious wines that give pleasure, revitalize, and revive.

“The Birichino Malvasia is so aromatic that it could be bottled as a perfume. As soon as I poured this pale white wine into a glass, a smell seemed to emanate through my entire kitchen that recalled honeysuckle, gardenias, orange blossoms and apricot jam. When I put my nose to it, I got the unmistakable notes of St. Germain and Pez candy.

In fact, the fragrance is so florid that upon smelling the wine, you’ll probably assume that it’s sweet. It has a set of lush aromas typically present in wines that have a little bit of sugar in them, like a dessert Riesling or Moscato. And so it’s a pleasant, refreshing surprise to take a sip of the Birichino Malvasia and realize that it’s bone-dry, without so much as a trace of residual sugar…

…It’s a quenching, delightful wine that delivers immediate gratification. No swirling or decanting required; no need to wait for it to open up. The Malvasia is plainly charismatic from the moment its top is screwed off. It’s not holding back any secrets.” -Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle, May 5, 2021