Nebbiolo Red 2012MADE BY IDLEWILD WINERY IN HEALDSBURG, CALIFORNIA
Some say the finicky Nebbiolo grape got its name from the Italian word nobile, meaning noble, and we totally buy that. The grape thrives mostly in the Piedmont region of Italy, and grows rather stubbornly anywhere else. Unless you find the perfect combination of soil, temperature and rain, which it turns out actually happened in California back in 2012.
Winemaker Sam Bilbro uses grapes grown at Fox Hill Vineyard, where the vines sit on sandy, gravelly, well-drained soils on a north-facing slope, which helps with any heat (much like the Alps do for Piedmont!).
Idlewild took a unique approach to their first Nebbiolo harvest, giving it three different treatments to really take advantage of how the grape expresses itself (yes, grapes express themselves). The result? A complex, well-structured, pale-garnet with loads of dried cherry aroma and the taste of earth and roses.
Here’s the breakdown for the wine geeks: The first lot was left whole-cluster, and pressed a little early. The second lot was de-stemmed and pressed just as the grapes were completely dry. The third lot was also de-stemmed but left with skins on for two months, to macerate a bit longer. All three got 10 months in their own neutral oak barrels, then were blended to mingle 10 more months.
tip of the tongue
Just 98 cases were produced. Grab a bottle while you can, and pair with a meal fit for royalty: roasted meat and root veggies.