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  • Writer's pictureJohn Paul Kaminga

Bird Wine: Idlewild Flora & Fauna

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

It's not just because there's a handsome fowl on the label. This wine is also a paragon of versatility: juicy, fresh, supple, low in alcohol, built for refreshment....

Idlewild is the brainchild of Sam Bilbro, whose family has long been important grape growers in Sonoma. Striking out on his own with Piemontese grapes, Sam is making some of the most exciting wines in California. All of Idlewild's wines come from two organic vineyards in Mendocino County: Fox Hill and Lost Hills Ranch. In the winery, intervention is kept to a minimum, with native yeast fermentations and neutral vessels for aging. The resulting wines emphasize pure fruit and wild floral, herbal and earth flavors; the energy of these wines is spectacular. Their Flora & Fauna red is not just delicious and versatile at the table, it is also an incredible value for California wine.

Idlewild Flora & Fauna Red Wine 2019 - $25

12.9% abv, a blend of Dolcetto, Barbera and Nebbiolo. Aromas of cherry and plum, fennel pollen, wild herbs and flowers, hints of light roast coffee and toasted spice. On the palate it is incredibly juicy, with so many tangy fruit flavors bouncing around, it's almost jammy but there's beautiful acid cut to keep it bright and fresh. Nutty leesy notes and diverse herbal and floral nuances accompany the ebullient fruit on the finish. Not so serious, but seriously delicious right now. Should be worth following a few more years.

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