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WTN: My first Freisa, and it's American!

by Jenise » Sat Jun 11, 2022 12:14 pm

A case of wine from Idlewild Winery in Sonoma showed up this week, and the top layer was the 2021 release of their Freisa, a grape I know of but have never tasted. Though I usually let new shipments settle and am not at all accustomed to drinking infant red wines that aren't even a year old yet, I couldn't resist getting into this and popped one last night to accompany leftover pizza and salad.

First off, the aromatics are beguiling. Very pure and perfumed with some strawberry and red licorice as well as things that remind me, by turns, of both young nebbiolo and gamay. Interesting textural progression over two hours, too, as the initial weightlessness gave in to tannins that kind of snuck up out of nowhere.

I can't wait to see where these go. David B, Tom H--what kind of lifespan do they ordinarily have?
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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David M. Bueker

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Re: WTN: My first Friesa, and it's American!

by David M. Bueker » Sat Jun 11, 2022 12:39 pm

No idea on the Friesa, as he has only made two vintages. We will find out together.

I had tried Friesa twice while in Torino, and both times it was frizzante. So a still version was a bit of a surprise to start.

And as for Idlewild with pizza…it is almost always what I open when pizza is on the menu.
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Re: WTN: My first Friesa, and it's American!

by Jenise » Sat Jun 11, 2022 12:58 pm

Only the second vintage? Wow. Really good/interesting. I now own three cases of Idlewild wines. Didn't expect this one to show up so soon (thought I was off the hook until fall). But oh well, they'll be loved.

Great with pizza. Especially, perhaps, in this case where one was tomato based (a Margerite) and the other, called Florentine, was white sauce, spinach, mushrooms, lemon pesto and red onions so between them they kind of bookended the places that wine could go.
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Re: WTN: My first Freisa, and it's American!

by David M. Bueker » Sat Jun 11, 2022 2:24 pm

My note on the inaugural 2020 vintage, just a couple of months after it was released. Maybe I will open my remaining bottling this summer.

  • 2020 Idlewild Freisa - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (7/24/2021)
    Fun with Freisa. Ripe red fruit is held in check by firm tannins. It almost feels like a Dolcetto, but the tannins are not that drying. There’s good mid-palate depth, then the tannins clamp down. Pizza calmed the tannins a bit. Seems like more air or more time. Good first try with this grape. Interested to see how Sam does with it over a few vintages.
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Re: WTN: My first Freisa, and it's American!

by Jenise » Sat Jun 11, 2022 2:35 pm

Good to read. Also, you confirm that it's also Russian River. On CT, there's an entry for Fox Hill Yorkshire Highlands. On the Idlewild website, they only say "North Coast". Gee, why wouldn't you say RR if you've got it?
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Re: WTN: My first Freisa, and it's American!

by Rahsaan » Sat Jun 11, 2022 2:48 pm

Interesting. As TH says, I can imagine these wines doing a nice translation of the ripe CA fruit through the structure of the grape. But when you say second vintage, I assume the vines are also very very young? (Not sure how much old vine Freisa is sitting around CA). That's a big limitation, but that also means things will only get better.
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Re: WTN: My first Freisa, and it's American!

by David M. Bueker » Sat Jun 11, 2022 5:39 pm

The vines are extremely young.

Jenise - Fox Hill Vineyard is in Mendocino.
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Re: WTN: My first Freisa, and it's American!

by Jenise » Sun Jun 12, 2022 11:54 am

David M. Bueker wrote:The vines are extremely young.

Jenise - Fox Hill Vineyard is in Mendocino.


Yes, yes, I know. But my point is that CT is messed up about that and Idlewild's own website is unspecific, identifying only "North Coast", not Russian River, as the grape source.
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Re: WTN: My first Freisa, and it's American!

by David M. Bueker » Sun Jul 03, 2022 8:40 pm

So it turns out the CT entry for the 2020 Freisa is wrong. It’s Fox Hill per the label. The 2021 is “North Coast” per the winery website. I need to ask Sam/Tom what the deal is. Maybe it’s a blend from two sites.
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Re: WTN: My first Freisa, and it's American!

by David M. Bueker » Mon Jul 04, 2022 8:31 am

Report from the guys at Idlewild is that the 2021 is a blend from Mendo and RRV, so is a North Coast appellation. 2020 was pure Mendocino. They may vineyard designate in future vintages or not, all depending on what tastes the best!
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