Red Rhône Blend
August 12, 2015 to September 24, 2015
23.5 - 26.1
Neutral French Oak
May 9, 2017
2015 Humbaba Rhone Blend
The 2015 Humbaba Rhone Blend is comprised of 50% Petite Sirah, 45% Syrah, and 5% Grenache Blanc.
This is the first vintage there is more Petite Sirah than Syrah in our Rhone blend. While nearly equal by percentage, we added a small amount of Grenache Blanc as whites are helpful in bringing femininity to a wine. But the 2015 Humbaba still embodies the ‘monster from the Cedar Forest’ himself. The increased percentage of Petite adds a more focused backbone, running from the top to the bottom of the wine (or entrance to your mouth to the bottom of your throat). The wine has great focus, with a more muted spearmint than previous vintages, and is further laced with marzipan, blackberries and licorice. These aromas translate to the flavors that are accompanied with ripe black fruits and bittersweet chocolate.
The grapes that make up the Humbaba blend come from cool climate Odyssey vineyard Syrah in the Russian River Valley, while the Petite Sirah comes from the Diener Ranch vineyard in the Red Hills in Lake County. The contrast in vineyard locations really speaks to the terroir that best accentuates the qualities of these two varietals. The cool, moderate climate of the Odyssey vineyard is heavily affected by the ocean influence throughout the growing season. Cooler climate Syrah has more complexity and balanced structure than those grown in hot climate. The Red Hills, however, are not influenced by the ocean, and the result is constant sunshine and much warmer temperatures. Ideal for Petite Sirah, and then combining the soil made up entirely of volcanic product and at a 2,000’ elevation the results are wines of extremely rich texture and outstanding structure. Combining these two varietals is a wonderful marriage of their strengths, one playing upon the other creating a blend exceeding the sum of its parts.
Humbaba, the protector of the Cedar Forest from the Epic of Gilgamesh, is our signature red blend. As with most of the red wines we produce, we employ the use of indigenous yeast. Prior to fermentation we employed a 15% saigne’e on the Syrah. We conducted a cold soak to increase the rich mouth-feel for four days and employed 2x daily pump-overs until fermentation began, at which time we began 2x daily punch downs. The blend is compiled after just 8 months and then further aged in neutral French oak for a total of 21 months.