The exploration of California’s alternative and forgotten finds is in full maturity. Wine lists in San Francisco’s Mission district are replete with such offerings, the best of which are delicious, fun, not too complex, not too expensive, and versatile.
Idlewild is a project focused on Italian varieties. It is run by the son and daughter-in-law of Chris Bilbro, owner of Marietta Cellars (which you can get at Marquis). The winery manages its own property, called Fox Hill Vineyard, in Mendocino county. It is planted exclusively to Italian varieties, including Barbera, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Cortese, and Arneis.
“The Bird” is a blend of Barbera, Dolcetto and Nebbiolo from the estate’s Fox Hill Vineyard. The wine is whole cluster fermented, giving it aromatics, but no greenness. The blend is very fruity and highly aromatic, with a palate dominated by plum, dried cherries, and a touch of earth. There is nice tannin and acid structure here – fresh and firm but still supple from the fruit. In sum, this is a fruity, clean and highly quaffable and an excellent price. Great with tangy Italian hard cheeses.
Very Good+ and Highly Recommended Value
$20 at K&L, San Francisco (consumed by the glass at Mission Cheese)