Idlewild 2021 'Flora & Fauna' Rose, North Coast
Item Number: 16936
Sub Region: North Coast
Appellation/AVA: North Coast
Estate Grown Wine: Yes
Vineyard Designation: Fox Hill Vineyard 2
Grape(s): Nebbiolo / Dolcetto / Barbera / Grignolino
Type: Wine - Rose
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Alc by Vol(%): 11.8
Viticulture: Practicing Organic
Vineyard: Flora and Fauna loosely means the collection of plant and animal life of a certain epoch. For Sam Bilbro, it is the collection of varieties from the cellar that make up the blend for the year. For 2021, the rosé is a blend of Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, Barbera, and Grignolino. While the wine is designated as North Coast, the fruit largely 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.
Vintage: 2021 was a worrisome year with drought and low yields, yet that is often the recipe for amazing fruit. Luckily, for the last few years Idlewild worked to train their vines to receive less water while also increasing organic matter in the soil, which translates to higher water holding capacity. In other words, Idlewild cruised right on through these tough growing conditions and was able to see amazing fruit across the board.
Winemaking: To say the least, it is an unconventional idea for Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, Barbera, and Grignolino to be co-fermented for a rosé. It should be noted that these grapes 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 complementary. In the winery, the grapes were whole cluster pressed, fermented via native yeast, left on all the lees and solids, aged in neutral oak, and underwent native secondary fermentation. Complexity and texture were 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.
Wine: This vintage has all the bright and fresh sides of rosé we love with a pronounced structure 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, grapefruit, alpine herbs, blood orange, wildflowers, and sea spray. The four varieties can all be seen in the structure: Nebbiolo and Girgnolino lend the crunchy minerality, Dolcetto lends a delicate softness, and Barbera lends bright acidity.