Readers who can find these wines should not miss them, as they are terrific, compelling, and point to a bright future. ANTONIO GALLONI
Having had a relationship with the Bilbro family as importers of the Marietta wines some years ago we were delighted to find youngest son, Sam, was behind this new venture, Idlewild. In many ways the wines are the anitpathy of what so many believe Californian wines are supposed to be. Hunting out heritage stands of Italian and Rhone varietals (mostly in Mendocino County) Bilbro makes extremely interesting wines characterised by texture, savouriness and subtlety. Skin contact is a part of the wines as is a relatively non-interventionist approach; both indicative of the preferences of the younger brigade of Calfornia producers. The belief in these long-ignored vines and varieties of northern California is the driving factors here for BIlbro and the quality of the wines makes this passion contagious. In our first shipment last year we were only able to get a few cases of three wines from this range however the second shipment has yielded good allocations of some of the most exciting wines Sam produces. Most notably Dolcetto, Carignan and Barbera are all part of this range for the time in Australia. These esoteric wines have recently been making wines as caused famed wine writer Mike Bennie (who reviews them below) to completely lose his cool!
These are exciting wines that reboot the paradigm on Californian wine and as Stephen Tanzer writes (in relation to an Idlewild wine): "I'd like to see more Californian wines like this". We wholeheartedly agree and highly recommend you give them a try. We have put together a fantastic introductory price of $250 for the 6 pack (over 30% off).