2020 Idlewild Flora & Fauna Rose
“It’s always fascinating to taste with Sam Bilbro, even virtually, as he has such a passion for all things Piedmont. Bilbro’s Ildewild label is all about exploring the potential of Piedmont’s indigenous varieties in California. — Vinous, January 2021
Sam Bilbro is the youngest son of the late, legendary winemaker Chris Bilbro, the maverick founder of Marietta Cellars in Sonoma County. Like his father, Sam eschews single variety bottlings of the typical California grapes. Unlike his father, Sam’s passions are the grapes native to Piedmont in the north and west of Italy — Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto, Arneis, and Cortese. Sam’s passions for these grapes inspired him to bring the spirit of Piedmont to the hills of Mendocino County. While in his twenties, Sam began his very own winery called Idlewild and became a leader of the iconoclastic movement called New California Wine.
Sam sources grapes for Idlewild wines from small Mendocino County vineyards, and he makes his wines without any additives but for minimal quantities of sulfur. The results of his careful practices are wines noted for their expressive fruit, their freshness and focus, their vibrancy and energy, and their impeccable balance. Sam’s Idlewild Flora and Fauna Rosé is a symbol of all these qualities. It’s also delicious!
Comprised of Nebbiolo, Barbera, and Dolcetto, Idlewild Flora and Fauna Rosé is fermented with its native yeasts and aged on its lees in neutral oak barrels. The wine’s aromas are pomegranate, Spring wildflowers, and mountain herbs. Its flavors are fresh blood orange, strawberry, and raspberry. All three of the wine’s Piedmontese grapes are evident in its structure: the Nebbiolo with a crunchy minerality, the Dolcetto with a delicate softness, and the Barbera with a bright acidity. And at its end, the wine delivers a subtle and enchanting Amaro flourish.
Just like the wines of Piedmont, Sam’s elegant and gulpable Flora and Fauna Rosé strikes the perfect balance between joy and depth. Between cool wine and easy comfort. From backyard get together to fancy dinner party. It’s a wine — and a feeling — you’ll want to have in your cellar until the end of the summer.