Idlewild 2017 Barbera, Fox Hill Vineyard, Mendocino
Item Number: 14034
Sub Region: Mendocino
Appellation/AVA: Mendocino County
Estate Grown Wine: No
Vineyard Designation: Fox Hill Vineyard
Grape(s): 100% Barbera
Type: Wine - Red
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Alc by Vol(%): 14.4
Viticulture: Practicing Organic
Soil Type: Gravel and sandstone
Case Production: 285
Vineyard Notes: Fox Hill Vineyard is without a doubt one of the most unique vineyards in Northern California. Located southeast of Ukiah on Mendocino’s Talmage Bench, the soils are well drained with high concentrations of gravel and sandstone. What makes this site so unique though is the fact that Lowell Stone decided to follow his passion, to buck every market trend, and to simply plant what he was interested in planting. Many trips to Italy turned to inspiration and the wild spectrum of varieties began to take root. The cooler tree sheltered and northwest facing blocks are appropriately planted with varietals that originate in Italy’s Piedmont.
Vintage Notes: Rain! Lots and lots of rain! After five years of drought, it was nearly surreal as local rivers flooded over their banks and lakes filled to their brims. Winter was wet, with a normal bud-break, and quite a normal (albeit wet) Spring. Everything kept rolling along smoothly all through summer, and despite the intense heat, the canopies were lush and provided plenty of shade and cooling. Right as things seemed perfectly on track, a late summer heat spike set in across the North Coast, and the game suddenly changed. A month of harvest was compressed into a week, but the vineyard held on beautifully. For those who picked fast and furiously and are working with varieties that can handle some heat, it is a gorgeous vintage.
Winemaking Notes: Barbera is all acid and no tannin... literally, there is next to no tannin in the skins. With this in mind, the grapes were fully foot trodden and all stems were included for added spice and structure. The must fermented naturally via native yeast and bacteria. At dryness, the wine was pressed to neutral puncheon where it evolved and integrated for nearly eleven months. Then, a year in bottle completed its aging.
Tasting Notes: While Idlewild tends to craft lighter and brighter reds, Barbera is the exception. With such amazing natural acidity, a deeper and more brooding wine can still find balance. Amarena black cherries, earth, balsamic, violets, quinine, graphite and macerated plums are aromatic highlights. A flashy, lush front and midpalate are balanced by the firm and fresh structure.