Bichi La Gorda Yori Orange Wine
Regular price $39.00
Winemaker: Noel Téllez
Appellation: Tecate, Baja California, Mexico
Grape Varieties: Chenin Blanc
La Gorda Yori was initially made from Moscatel (thus the name, which means “fat and wide” due to the grape’s size), but as of 2018 now comes from a dry-farmed parcel of Chenin Blanc planted in the 1980’s on granitic soils in Tecate, which was abandoned a few years after planting and recently revived by Noel and his team. The grapes were hand-harvested, de-stemmed, and fermented with wild yeasts in concrete tinajas (amphoras), with 35 days of skin contact before pressing. The wine was raised over the winter and bottled without fining, filtration and only a minimal dose of SO2. This is an orange wine with some grip, but also offers beautiful aromatics of herbs, sandalwood and orchard fruit balanced with refreshing acidity.
Mexico has a centuries-long history of winemaking that has mostly gone under the radar. Spanish conquistadores planted vines in the early 1500’s, before both Chile and Argentina, and Baja California represents about 90% of the vines in the entire country due to the ideal climate and geography. Bichi was founded in 2014 by the Téllez family, who moved to Baja from neighboring Sonora, hence the name Bichi, which means “naked” in the Sonoran Yaqui dialect. Noel is continuing to grow and learn and is regularly seeking out new vineyards and evolving the Bichi winemaking style. They are producing amazingly fresh and energetic wines from very old, recently recovered vineyards of Misión (aka Listán Prieto), Rosa del Peru (aka Moscatel Negro), Tempranillo and Carinena, among other varieties. Based at the Téllez family ranch in Tecate, just over the border from California, Bichi farms 10 hectares of their own Tecate vineyards biodynamically and collaborates with a growing family of organic farmers working vineyard land in Tecate and around San Antonio de las Minas (Valle de Guadalupe). The majority of the vines are head-trained and all are dry-farmed, hand-harvested, fermented with native yeast, and aged in neutral barrel or vat so that the emphasis is on each wine’s Mexican terruño. —Jose Pastor Selections