Idlewild 2019 Barbera, Lost Hills Ranch, Yorkville Highlands

Idlewild 2019 Barbera, Lost Hills Ranch, Yorkville Highlands

Item Number: 18623

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): 100% Barbera
Type: Wine - Red
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Pack: 12
Closure: Cork
Alc by Vol(%): 13.6
Viticulture: Practicing Organic
Soil Type: Deep fractured sandstone with veins of schist
Elevation: 1,500 feet
Case Production: 308

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: 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 large Slovenian oak botti where it evolved and integrated for a year. Then, a year in bottle completed its aging.

Tasting Notes: While Sam tend towards lighter and brighter in his reds, this Barbera is the exception. With such amazing natural acidity, a deeper and more brooding wine can still find balance. The year spent in large format Slovenian oak botti added an additional layer to the mouthfeel by filling out the tannin profile while also maintaining the freshness. Amarena cherries, earth, pepper like spice, violets, graphite and fresh Santa Rosa plums are aromatic highlights. A full and lush front and midpalate are balanced by the firm and very fresh structure.


  • Vinous
    Rating: 90 (1/15/2022)

    The 2019 Barbera is a powerful, structured wine. Dark fruit, gravel, menthol, licorice and dried herbs bring out the more somber side of Barbera. There is good interplay between the bright acids, that are typical of Barbera, whole clusters and the tannins of this site. It's a balance that works quite well here.