One of the most exciting things about Californian wine making over the years has been the opportunities to experiment with the ways things are made. There is such a diversity of climates, soils, and grapes to be had, almost any conceivable wine style can be created by the right motivated and industrious winemaker. Some of the most interesting new wines are coming from 'reclamation projects' of old vineyards planted to unique grape varieties in remote areas of the state, fruit that at one time were sold off in bulk to the mass market jug wine blends, but now are making top flight wines with just a little bit of love and attention. Idlewild is a new project started by a young winemaker with lots of old family knowledge from their owning Marietta Cellars, most famous for their old vine 'Californian field blend' reds. This project focuses on traditional Italian varieties that are found scattered around the more remote counties of California, mirroring the success of his family and the Italian traditions by creating blends as well. We featured the white blend earlier in the year when the wines first arrived, called 'The Bee', and now with cooler weather ahead (we assume) it's now time for the red.
The Bird is Idlewild's interpretation of a Langhe Rosso from the Piedmont, blending Nebbiolo, Barbera, and Dolcetto; whole cluster fermentation is used for all the varieties before blending to help bring out the earthier, more savory fruit character without making it too tannic or astringent. While not quite as gamey as the Langhe versions, the aromas are definitely old school with lots of dark cherry skin and herbal tones behind the red fruit aromas. On the palate the texture is impressively rich for the varieties used but not thick or jammy, mostly plum and savory spice with a bit of chewy tannins on the finish. Though it isn't as low in alcohol as some wines in the style, there is no sense of over-ripe extraction here, and fans will love having this at the dinner table this Fall and Winter pairing it with hearty comfort foods.
The Best of the Best.
We offering free tastings on these wines in the store every Thursday and Friday, and a 10% discount off the retail price through the duration of the day. Come on by and give them a try!