20 Jul Please The Palate Wine of the Week: Idlewild Wines 2020 Grignolino, Fox Hill Vineyard, Mendocino
This week, my friends Christine, Cindy, and I celebrated our two year anniversary of the video series we host called Crush On This. In our very first episode we had shared the very first wine we had a crush on and more than 100 episodes later we shared what we are crushing on today. I get crushes on wines all the time but right now I am crushing hard on the Idlewild Wines 2020 Grignolino, Fox Hill Vineyard, Mendocino, the Please The Palate wine of the week.
I met Sam Bilbro, owner and winemaker of Idlewild Wines in Sonoma, a few months ago while traveling up north. Sam focuses on Italian grape varieties and when I heard he grew Grignolino, I knew I already had a crush. I fell in love with Grignolino on a trip to Piemonte, Italy a few years ago. Light in color but with a beautiful nose and a wonderful mouthfeel, it is a grape that always captivates me.
So when it was time to pick the wines we were crushing on for our recent episode, I opened the bottle of Idlewild Wines 2020 Grignolino that I had been saving for the perfect moment. I thought there was no one better to share it with than my girlfriends.
Sam Bilbro is the 4th generation in a wine family and grew up hanging out in a winery, walking vineyards, and tasting blends with his dad. But it was working in the restaurant industry when he fell in love with a Barbaresco and finally felt the connection to wine. He traveled to Italy and rode a bike around the hills of Piemonte where he saw common ties with the hills in Mendocino County.
It is Mendocino County where Sam has planted Italian grape varieties. Taking a minimalist approach to winemaking, Idlewild Wines is focused on grapes from Piemonte, Italy, including Cortese, Arneis, Dolcetto, Barbera, and Nebbiolo, as well as Ruche, Freisa, Peloverga, Timorasa, and Grignolino.
The Idlewild Wines 2020 Grignolino, Fox Hill Vineyard, Mendocino is a beautiful translucent brick red color that is only 12.2% alcohol. In a way, it looks like a dark rosé but it is a pale red wine. But do not underestimate the wine based on its pale color. The wine has a beautiful nose of red fruits, such as strawberry, rhubarb and cherry, as well as notes of dried flowers, savory herbs and orange zest. The wine is light on the palate but is structured with a lovely texture of soft tannins and fresh acidity.
This a food friendly, complex wine and I have a major crush on it. Only 82 cases were made of the Idlewild Wines 2020 Grignolino which retails for $35. Add a slight chill, drink it on its own, or pair it with pizza, charcuterie, or grilled chicken. No matter how you drink it, I think you will have a crush on it as well!