Idlewild 2019 Cortese, Lost Hills Ranch, Yorkville Highlands

Idlewild 2019 Cortese, Lost Hills Ranch, Yorkville Highlands

Item Number: 18622

UPC: None

Country: USA
Region: California
Sub Region: Mendocino
Appellation/AVA: Yorkville Highlands
Estate Grown Wine: Yes
Vineyard Designation: Lost Hills Ranch
Vintage: 2019
Grape(s): Cortese
Type: Wine - White
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Pack: 12
Closure: Cork
Alc by Vol(%): 12.1
Viticulture: Practicing Organic
Soil Type: Deep fractured sandstone with veins of schist
Elevation: 1,500 feet
Case Production: 374

Vineyard Notes: Lost Hills Ranch sits on a lonely ridge in the Yorkville Highlands. Located near the southwest corner of Mendocino County, the climate is marked by a clash of maritime and continental influence. At 1,500 feet of elevation, the vineyard often looks down on the fog hugging the valley below, or transversely, the cooling winds run along the ridge as the heat sinks on warmer days. The soils are comprised of deep fractured sandstone with veins of schist. The vine roots work hard to push deep into the rock, and in turn, a powerful core can be found in the fruit grown here. Holistic and organic practices ensure a healthy site for now and for future generations to come.

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. One slight rain event had us all worried, but then late September and October turned to an second 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: Roughly 20% of the blend 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. To balance with freshness and minerality, the remaining 80% of the blend 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. After a year in large Slovenian oak botti, the wine was bottled late the following autumn, followed by an additional year of bottle age.

Tasting Notes: This wine is a balance of texture in a lithe and demure format. The elevage in large Slovenian oak botti retained great freshness while also framing the wine beautifully. Lemon balm, chamomile, sage, orange peel, straw, and white tea are highlights of the aromas. The mouthfeel is saline and viscous followed by driving acidity and firm phenolic power.


  • Vinous
    Rating: 90 (1/15/2022)

    The 2019 Cortese is a powerful, savory wine built on a real feeling of structure. A touch of fermentation on the skins for about 20% of the wine along with aging in cask yields a decidedly structured white that feels at times more like a red. Dried lemon peel, sage, mint and dried flowers fill out the layers. The Cortese is a terrific wine for the dinner table.