Skip to product information
1 of 1

Idlewild Wines

Idlewild Flora & Fauna Red 2021 (750 ml)

Idlewild Flora & Fauna Red 2021 (750 ml)

Regular price Login to see prices
Regular price Login to see prices Sale price Login to see prices
Sale Sold out

In Italy, the house wine is often light, fresh, aromatic, and firmly structured so as to pair beautifully next a wide range of foods. That is the inspiration for The Bird. Black cherries, anise, fresh strawberries, freshly turned soil, and spicy floral tones highlight the aromatic profile. The mouthfeel is fresh and bright, leans towards a touch of mouth filling richness, and then quickly moves to a clean and firm food driven finish.


Production Details

The majority of the fruit for this wine comes from Fox Hill Vineyard, 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, quartz, and sandstone. What makes this site so special is the fact that Lowell Stone decided to buck every trend and 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.

Composed of Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, and Barbera, all three of these Piedmontese 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 all fermentations 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, and then Sam fully treaded the wines to allow fermentation to switch to a more standard flow. This gave a 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 that tannic structure was appropriate for a shorter time in barrel (4 months in neutral French oak).

350 cases produced.

Idlewild Description

Idlewild is the creation of Sam Bilbro. Sam comes from a long family tradition of wine. His father Chris Bilbro founded Marietta Cellars.

Idlewild is about what moves Sam. Wines that are rooted in tradition but which also endeavor to create a new paradigm. His wines possess vibrant fruit character but often have savory elements and the requisite structure and acid to make them well to pair with food. They are wines of beauty and balance.

Idlewild is primarily sourced fruit from just two vineyards. Both are managed by Wild Ruth Farming, a collaboration between Idlewild and Ruth Lewandowski Wines. Holistic farming ensures that the site and vintage are allowed to speak. Their roster includes Arneis, Cortese and Dolcetto from the Fox Hill Vineyard, as well as Carignan from Testa Vineyard and Grenache Gris from the Gibson Ranch. They also produce a Syrah based rosé, AKA "Vin Gris", from Dry Creek Valley.

Idlewild represent the essence of the New California. This movement, defined in Jon Bonne’s book “The New California Wine”, encompasses producers who are working with unusual varietals and making wines of balance and finesse that defy the traditional “new world-old world” divide. These are wines that have been inspired by the their old-world archetypes, yet with unique personalities unto themselves, and firmly rooted in the California terroir. And like their old-world brethren, they are crafted to work well at the dinner table.

Sam is also involved in the founding of the “Seven Percent Solution”. This is a group of like-minded small producers who have elected to focus on and celebrate the complex array of fascinating varietals apart from the 93% of wine produced in CA from the most mainstream 8 varietals including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, etc. The wineries in the group embody the spirit of the New California in spades, and are to be commended for their progressive work to popularize this tiny slice of interesting and up-and-coming wines in the California landscape.

View full details