Idlewild 2019 'Flora & Fauna' Red, Mendocino
Item Number: 13938
Sub Region: Mendocino
Appellation/AVA: Mendocino County
Estate Grown Wine: No
Grape(s): 53% Dolcetto / 44% Barbera / 3% Nebbiolo
Type: Wine - Red
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Alc by Vol(%): 12.9
Viticulture: Practicing Organic
Vineyard Notes: Flora and Fauna loosely means the collection of plant and animal life of a certain epoch. In Idlewild's version, it is the collection of varieties from the cellar that make up the blend for the year. For 2019, the blend is comprised of roughly 53% Dolcetto, 44% Barbera, and 3% Nebbiolo. The fruit mostly comes from Fox Hill Vineyard and Lost Hills Ranch. Fox Hill lends depth while Lost Hills balances with vibrancy and bright aromatics. In the end, Mendocino is what is most on display with high and low tones and a very pleasant rusticity. In contrast to the varietal bottling of these wines, these grapes are from sections of the vineyard that yield lighter structure and are handled with this early to bottle style in mind.
Vintage Notes: 2019 began with a late and wet start. The summer came on slowly without excessive heat, and the fall followed with the same pattern. Late September and October turned to an Indian summer of warm days and cool nights which ensured all of the fruit was harvested before the late October fires. In turn, these wines are dense and brooding from their long hang-time but also lithe and energetic due to the overall cool season.
Winemaking Notes: All of these varieties have structure and at the same time a joyous side. The focus in fermentation was to build enough structure for a very versatile food wine but also to emphasize the exuberant and delicious elements of each grape. To do this, the wines were left largely whole cluster and fermentation started with carbonic maceration. That being said, none of them were pushed to be fully carbonic wines. Instead, the initial lift in aromatics and push on frothy fresh fruits was achieved. Then the wines were fully crushed to allow fermentation to switch to a more standard flow. This gave backbone and savory qualities to act as bass notes to the carbonic high tones. All of the wines were pressed a touch early to ensure that the tannic structure was appropriate for a shorter time in barrel, just four months in neutral oak.
Tasting Notes: In Italy, the house wine is often light, fresh, and firmly structured so as to pair beautifully next to a wide range of foods, and that is the inspiration for this blend. The 2019 is at once the deepest and most savory while also being the lightest and freshest rendition of this blend yet. Dark cherry, iron and sanguine notes, dried herbs, violets, and graphite are highlights of the aromas. The mouth feel is a joyful interplay of brightness with chewy bass notes before the seriousness kicks in with a firm acid and tannin balance on the finish.