Birichino Grenache Besson Vineyard Vieilles Vignes 2022

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Several vintages have passed since we enjoyed a decent yield from the Besson Family’s 112 year-old dry-farmed vineyard. 2022 didn’t produce a large crop, though it far surpasses 2019, 2020 and 2021, and merges qualities of 2018 and 2019 – a high degree of aromatic detail and filigree so exaggerated in 2018, revolving around the arche-typal botanical quality we associate with this site, and the cherry liqueur and bottom-end density recalling the levels of 2019, including those elusive ninja tannins which approach stealthily from out of view, only to execute a delayed surprise attack after one’s guard is down. Continuing our practice begun in 2012, a small percentage of the grapes were “rested” post-harvest in small picking boxes for roughly 10 days prior to destemming and recombination with 100% of the rested stems. That fraction undergoes a 6-week fermentation/macera- tion on its skins, becoming significantly more tannic and botanical than the main lot, and is the source for the very small Hommage bottling one or two of you may have encountered, and amplifies the alpine aromatized quality -the essential marker of Besson. For the first time in 2022, we have included small amounts of this appassimento frac- tion from multiple vintages – 2018, 2020 and 2022, combined totalling roughly 4% of the blend. Don’t take our word for it, but it seems to us a very fine vintage. For the main lot, we included 30% stems,and fermentation was native in stainless with twice daily pumpovers, and elevage was exclusively in 450 & 500L neutral oak puncheon. We bottled comme d’habitude in late summer 2023 without filtation/fining.

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