Birichino Car Car Dōmo-Kōmo Carignane
Regular price $29.00
Winemaker: Alex Krause and John Locke
Appellation: Montague Vineyard Mokelumne River, Lodi, California
Grape Varieties: Carignan
From Alex Krause: The original working title of this wine was Car Car Glou Glou, and while it most certainly is Car Car, it is decidedly not Glou Glou. So we have nixed the Glou Glou and appended Dōmo-Kōmo. Sometimes in this business, you gently chaperone the wine to your intended destination, and sometimes the wine grabs you by the short and curlies, if you will pardon the technical winemaking jargon, and drags you where it will. In a lovely twist of irony, this wine, actually intended to vaguely recall a Beaujolais [see our Bechthold Cinsault] and produced using a technique most closely associated with that region, has landed in the stylistic spectrum populated by the the Languedoc, Roussillon, Montsant, or perhaps Priorat - rich, occasionally rugged carignane-based wines of warmth and not a little power.
“Car Car” is our internal shorthand of a wine made from Carignane using the method Carbonic Maceration [a term to be used in polite company at the beginning of the evening, if at all]. “Glou Glou” denotes a light-bodied, relatively simple, casual wine which can be consumed unselfconsciously and onomatopoeically, i.e., glug, glug, glug. There is nothing casual to be found here. Unlike the Montague Carignane from 2017 - a much hotter vintage - we expect the 2018 to be more lithe and wispy. Yet all celestial, terrestrial and oenological signals have been scrambled. This wine is rich, and a bit brooding, with a finish dominated by a forceful, rocky crunch.
The label image depicts Dōmo-kōmo, one of many creatures comprising the Bakemono Zukushi or “Monster Scroll.” This Edo Period Japanese marvel introduces us to a pantheon of yokai– spirits, phantasms and fantastic beings. An old folktale associated with the image recounts an escalating challenge of skill culminating with two esteemed surgeons decapitating each other, intent on demonstrating to onlookers which will most successfully remedy each others’ rather debilitating state. The crowd of onlookers note in unison, “there’s no way that was going to work.” Perhaps we should have known our clear intentions would lead to some unexpected result, however there are few things in winemaking more satisfying than wandering down a well worn path to a delicious, and wholly unexpected, destination.
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.