Bewildering. One scent and sip of the Birichino Malvasia Bianca and you are transported into an impressionist painted oenological wonderland. The wine is that different, that real, and honestly great that it deserves mention. I tasted this at a wine show put on by the California Wine Institute. Suffice to say my mouth was quite tuned to Chardonnay galore in the key of California, and this Malvasia Bianca was a fork in the road.
I believe I overheard John Locke, the winemaker, mention something about jasmine on the scent. ( I could be wrong, he was talking to another taster and the table was very busy) I picked that scent up, but it was a rubbery/latex jasmine to me. Sometimes folks talk about odour ranges like jasmine and rubber and also associate it with pistachio, but my nose picked up muted cardamon. Bewildered and un-trusting of my instinct, I pulled the cardamon out of the spice rack when I got home and I am quite confident that I got it just right.
Into the gulp the wine was thickly textured, deep in flavour and washed away tidily by measured acid. The deep flavours were nutty and citrus, like a dessert from a foreign land delivered by a tall mute on a magic carpet playing sitar.
Musical Match: Josephine Baker is an icon you may not know about. She was a bridge between European and African American cultures. Before she passed away 1975 she lived enough adventure for at least two adventurous lives. From a period not to long ago, her life shaped many of the ways our society has become tolerant of sexual expression and acceptance of black culture – she was a cultural Steve Jobs if you will. Her music and dance were exotic, and her performance made that exoticism accessible. The 2010 Birichino is an exotic and approachable wine, and hopefully will set an example or busting pre-conceived ideas. Great Stuff. Platinum record status, Get some.