Idlewild Testa Carignan 2013
Other Red Wine from North Coast, California
Testa Vineyard is a special place. It is farmed by the fourth generation of the family, and this Carignan block is simply beautiful. At 80+ years old, these vines take care of themselves and produce amazing fruit. Fermented with partial carbonic maceration, the wine is then left to settle and age in neutral oak. This wine shows that complexity doesn't require heft or weight and that a compelling wine can still be downright delicious.
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "The 2013 Carignan Testa Vineyard emerges from 80 year-old vines in Mendocino. Pomegranate, dark cherry, plum, smoke, licorice and new leather flesh out in a voluptuous, intriguing wine full of personality and class. These old vines confer significant richness, power and pure intensity. This is a huge overachiever from Idlewild and Sam Bilbro. Most of the Idlewild wines are made to be enjoyed young, but the Carignane has quite a bit of potential to develop further nuance in bottle."
Idlewild Wines Winery
Idlewild Wines is based in Healdsburg, CA. Located in a funky concrete warehouse turned simple winery, the focus is not on a tasting room nor any sense of grandiosity but instead on the vineyards and what is in the bottle. Grapes are sourced from various locations around Northern California from growers who feel more like partners.
The criterion for selecting a vineyard is quite simple: the site has to be compelling. Attributes that create a special vineyard are uniqueness in climate, varietal, soil, vine age, and vineyard practice. Perhaps most important though, the vineyard must show quality, balance, and soul. View all Idlewild Wines Wines
About North Coast
Beyond Napa and Sonoma in the north you find a couple of other counties producing great wine. Among these are Mendocino and Lake County. The northernmost California winegrowing regions, these two counties are right above Napa and Sonoma, geographically. Yet, wine-wise they are very different – both from their southern neighbors and from each other.
Notable FactsMendocino has a high amount of organic vintners and vines. The first winery to settle here was Fetzer, which practices organic viticulture and holds some of the most vineyard land in the area. Mendocino has many pockets of micro-climates while Lake County, being smaller in size, is less diverse climactically. As for the grapes, Chardonnay is the most popular in both counties, but there are also some excellent Sauvignon Blancs, particularly in the Lake County. In red wine, Zinfandel leads the way, followed by Rhone Blends and Petite Sirah. The reds in both counties are complex and sumptuous. Anderson Valley is a sub-AVA of Mendicino and is quite well known for its excellent cool climate, producing the delicious Roederer Estate sparkling wines and some wonderful cool-climate Syrah.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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