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. Brothers Noel & Jair Tellez, with the help of Chilean (by way of Burgundy) winemaker Louis-Antoine Luyt, 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. Bichi means "naked" in some parts of northern Mexico, and for Téllez and Luyt, it thus seemed like an appropriate name to give their new natural wine project.
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 Valle de Guadalupe. The majority of the vines are head-trained and all are dry-farmed, handharvested, fermented with native yeast, and aged in neutral barrel or vat so that the emphasis is on each wine’s Mexican terruño.
Rosa comes from a dry-farmed 20ha vineyard comprised of a mysterious grape variety that remains unidentified. The farmer says it could be Dolcetto, the Téllez family thinks maybe Cariñena due to it's sharp acidity, no one is quite sure and perhaps it doesn't really matter as this wine shows its place beautifully. The head-pruned, own-rooted vines are planted close to the Pacific Ocean in the area of San Antonio de las Minas in Ensenada, Baja Norte. The grapes were harvested by hand, de-stemmed and fermented and raised in steel tank, then bottled without fining or filtration and only 20 ppm of added SO2. This is a refreshing Pacific-inflected rosé wine, perfect for Baja-style fish tacos, camarones a la plancha, or just sharing with friends on the patio. -Jose Pastor Selections