Monday, March 29, 2010

2008 Kirigin Cellars Malvasia Bianca

Kirigin is the oldest active winery in the Santa Clara Valley. Its history goes back before Prohibition; the original Bonesio Winery was founded in 1916 by Pietro (Peter) Bonesio. In 1976 it was taken over by Nikola Kirigin-Chargin, who renamed it Kirigin Cellars. Then in 2000, aged 84 he finally retired and sold to Dhruv Khanna, founder of Covad. Khanna apparently has little interest in wine; his real passion is sport, and the vineyard would soon be augmented with cricket and football (soccer) pitches.

The winery continues to operate under his patronage, in the main producing fairly unremarkable wines. One standout is their Malvasia Bianca. The winery's own description (Flowery, grapey aroma, noticeable flavor, slightly sweet) doesn't do it justice.

2008 Kirigin Cellars Malvasia Bianca, California
An initial note of struck match soon blows off revealing nice pear and lychee aromas. On the palate there's lots of tropical fruit - gooseberry, lychee, melon and kiwi. The finish is rounded though perhaps a little short. 88 $18 ($9 after case discount.)


Nicole Gustas said...

I'm just writing about my trip to Kirigin Cellars and other Santa Cruz Mountains/Santa Clara Valley wineries right now for my blog, and I stumbled across your blog. Great stuff!

I really enjoyed my trip to Kirigin. I found their wines to be easy-drinking, and the tasting room atmosphere to be very warm, laid-back and friendly. It's exactly the sort of place I'd send a friend who was just getting into wine and was worried that she'd be mocked by wine snobs at a tasting room.