Idlewild 2017 Cortese, Fox Hill Vineyard, Mendocino

Idlewild 2017 Cortese, Fox Hill Vineyard, Mendocino

Item Number: 14036

UPC: None

Country: USA
Region: California
Sub Region: Mendocino
Appellation/AVA: Mendocino County
Estate Grown Wine: No
Vineyard Designation: Fox Hill Vineyard
Vintage: 2017
Grape(s): Cortese
Type: Wine - White
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Pack: 12
Closure: Cork
Alc by Vol(%): 12.5
Viticulture: Practicing Organic
Soil Type: Gravel and sandstone
Case Production: 280

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 Piemonte. Cortese is very rare outside of it’s home in the southeast of Piemonte near the town of Gavi.

Vintage Notes: Rain! Lots and lots of rain! After five years of drought, it was nearly surreal as 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: Roughly 25% of the blend is from the sun goldened south facing side of the vine rows, which was fermented on skins and sees an extended maceration of one and a half months for added depth and evolved structure. While this is a rather rare practice for a white wine, it lends a very savory and structured layer to the blend. The northern half of the vines shows freshness and minerality and was directly pressed and fermented in neutral puncheon in a more common white wine fashion. Both of the two components were fermented naturally via native yeast and native bacteria. The wine was blended and bottled late the following summer, followed by an additional year of bottle age.

Tasting Notes: This wine has aromatic depths of an orange wine, but it drinks more like a full-bodied white. Chamomile, persimmon, sage, preserved lemon, straw, and white tea highlight the aromas. The mouthfeel is saline and viscous followed by driving acidity and phenolic power.