Ruth Lewandowski Wines 2021 'Feints' (Fox Hill Vineyard, Mendocino County)
Origin: Mendocino County, California, USA
Grape(s): 30% Arneis / 33% Dolcetto / 15% Barbera / 14% Nebbiolo / 8% Montepulciano
Working with all of the Piedmontese varieties found at Fox Hill Vineyard, Feints is quite an unexpected wine! It's a co-fermentation of Dolcetto, Barbera, Nebbiolo, Montepulciano and Arneis grapes. Full carbonic maceration keeps things poppy, light on its feet, and fresh. For all intents and purposes, this is the complex light red wine that is extremely gluggable.
Some notes about the winemaking process: Full carbonic maceration lasted about 12 days. Traditional, foot-trodden maceration lasted about 2 days. The grapes were pressed and then continued fermentation with native yeast and without temperature control. Malolactic fermentation occurred. The wine aged on its lees for 5 months. Feints was bottled unfined and unfiltered.
About Fox Hill Vineyards: Lowell Stone had quite the vision for his wife Babara's place. As a young man, he fell head over heels for Italy, particularly it’s wine culture. Finally, in the late 80's, he took to replanting the entire property, converting it over from mostly Chardonnay and Riesling to many and much more obscure Italian varieties (with a few acres of two Portuguese varieties thrown in for good measure).
Today, it's a library of what one could get their hands on in the way of Italianate grapevines at the time from nurseries, friends, and the odd 'suitcased' cuttings. Fox Hill rests between Hopland and Ukiah just up from the Russian River on benchland called the Talmage Bench. Uplifted former riverbed, Fox Hill is predominantly standstone based – very rocky and pebbly, with a large amount of quartz to trip over as one is weaving one's way in and out of the vine rows that eventually find their way into Mahlon, Chilion, Feints, and Rosé.