• Bilbro's Mendocino Gold Rush:  2015 Idlewild Fox Hill Cortese

    Bilbro's Mendocino Gold Rush: 2015 Idlewild Fox Hill Cortese

    Idlewild's Sam Bilbro has a story that stands apart from many producers who came into light during the transformational New California Wine emergence, as dubbed by Jon Bonné in his excellent book. Idlewild focuses on Piedmontese single varietal, single vineyard wines, sourced from high altitude sites in Mendocino County.

    Today, I'm happy to offer the 2015 Idlewild Fox Hill Cortese for $35 per bottle.


    The story behind the Fox Hill Vineyard Cortese is one that perfectly captures the imaginative process between each phase of a wine's origin: viticulture, harvest, and fermentation. The Cortese on this site is divided into two parcels: One receives ample, direct sunlight on the grapes giving a golden hue and more overt ripeness. The other parcel is shaded and yields Cortese grapes full of verve and minerality from these porous rocky soils.

    In the cellar 75% of the grapes are directly pressed and barrel fermented. But, the remaining 25% is fermented on this skins, doubling down on those unctuous tones from the direct sunlight parcel and giving significant textural weight. This golden hue gives elements of chamomile, cardamom, orange peel, and a some tannin.

    I've followed this particular bottling over the years and each vintage impresses for that combo between energetic saline tones juxtaposed brilliantly by those more skin-macerated qualities. It's fleshy, yet finishes with a deep mineral drive that makes it ideal for cutting through richer dishes. 
    Posted by Alexander Rosen