Idlewild 2018 'Flora & Fauna' Rose, Mendocino
Item Number: 13937
Sub Region: Mendocino
Appellation/AVA: Mendocino County
Estate Grown Wine: No
Vineyard Designation: Fox Hill Vineyard
Grape(s): 38% Nebbiolo / 31% Dolcetto / 31% Barbera
Type: Wine - Rose
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Alc by Vol(%): 11.9
Viticulture: Practicing Organic
Soil Type: gravel and sandstone
Vineyard Notes: 'Flora and Fauna' loosely means the collection of plant and animal life of a certain epoch. In Idelwild's version, it is the collection of varietals from the cellar that make up the blend for the year. For 2018, the rosé is a co-fermented blend of 38% Nebbiolo, 31% Barbera, and 31% Dolcetto. While the wine is designated as Mendocino County, the fruit actually comes from Fox Hill Vineyard. Located southeast of Ukiah on Mendocino’s Talmage Bench, the soils are well drained with high concentrations of gravel and sandstone. For the rosé, which is picked and specifically made for this wine rather than as a by-product of a red wine, the most shaded sections and areas with higher concentrations of clay were chosen.
Vintage Notes: 2018 was a dream vintage. There just aren’t many other ways to say it. There weren’t any surprises or issues, and the cadence of the season was easy. While the summer months were quite warm, the fall was borderline cool. This all translates to the most balanced fruit seen in years. The vintage did extend quite a long time due to the cool fall, but for those who favor both high acidity and depth of flavor, there couldn’t have been a better scenario.
Winemaking Notes: It should be noted that Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, and Barbera all ripen at very different times, but in this case, they were all picked together at the moment when their different qualities and stages of ripeness came together and were complimentary. In the winery, the grapes were whole cluster pressed, fermented with native yeast, left on all the lees and solids, aged in neutral oak, and underwent native secondary fermentation. Complexity and texture are gained from allowing secondary fermentation and aging on lees in neutral oak for four months, while the structure and acidity from picking plenty early allow for great vibrancy and energy through the wine.
Tasting Notes: This vintage of Idlewild's rosé shows all the bright and fresh sides of rosé we all love with an added depth to pair with food. There is a play between savory versus fresh and subtlety versus power that make this wine very intriguing. The aromas are wound up around orange peel, celery salt, grapefruit, alpine herbs, wildflowers, blood orange, and sea spray. The three varieties can all be seen in the structure: Nebbiolo lends the crunchy minerality, Dolcetto lends a delicate softness, and Barbera lends firm acidity.