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Enkidu Wine LLC

Fall 2022

Dear Enkidu Friends:

This has been such an amazingly beautiful late summer/fall. Now approaching November, we are still experiencing some warm and even hot weather, which is probably the last gasp of heat for the year. Glad to have it as I still have unpicked mountain fruit in northern Sonoma County that is still not quite ripe.

So happy to be here at the end of a harvest that has been the most fun ever, and truly the most weird in regards to grape and wine development. On my dog Anu’s 13th vintage, we have been graced with wonderful weather throughout the year. It rained a bit a month ago and there were 114 F temps for about six days, but that didn’t impact the quality of grapes that we picked. Our year started with some heat early in January and February. This woke many of the vines out of dormancy and into the growth season months earlier than normal. Our cooler March and April slowed down much of that growth, but the race had begun. The result was an early harvest where some vineyards were picked 10 days earlier than in any previous year. Early harvests have occurred before…and are now much more frequent. What was unique was what we experienced in the vineyards in relation to what we experienced in fermentation in the winery. On harvest days, we were able to really “hit” the moment we wanted for our fruit, the right combination of flavors and sugars. In this vintage, we obtained richness and opulence that we didn’t see in wines 35 years ago. However, we did get the lower alcohol that those older wines engendered. It really is a melding of the classic early California wines with the riper structure of today. Early on the Pinot Noirs, to which we have added Leras Family Vineyards to the existing vineyard sources of Tina Marie, Peters, and Hogans Run vineyards, are fantastic. The first impressions of a project wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Verdot, Petite Sirah) I have wanted to make for over a decade is extremely promising. Fun stuff in our future.

This summer and fall have been rather mellow. After my daughter Gabbi visited from New Zealand for a month, we settled into the rhythm of the season. Part of the Enkidu team was visited by the Corona virus as Butch, Bev and I all became ill. Everyone recovered well. For Bev and I, it came at the most inopportune time….during our Enkidu river cruise on the Rhine! What started out as a lovely trip with our Club Members and fellow wine loving passengers, ended abruptly. I was the first to test positive…followed a couple days later by Bev. They escorted us off the boat, me to Frankfurt, Bev to Zurich to serve out our time. This was so incredibly unfortunate and sad as we really missed enjoying more good times with our club members and new friends. Thank you to all who joined us for our European adventure. We thoroughly enjoyed our short time with you.

Most of the 2021 red wines are already gracefully aging in French oak barrels waiting for their eventual bottling in May 2023. We did, however, bottle our 2021 Sauvignon Blanc, and a new Russian River Valley Pinot Noir that features two new sensational vineyards that we were able to source from. Thanks to Bev and her Pinot Noir connections for hooking us up with Randy Peters of Peters Vineyard, a top-notch Russian River Valley grower. I also got the gang together to bottle our Version, V2 of the EA Petite Sirah port style wine. This is a labor of love as all aspects of EA’s production are done by hand. Our port is a blend of five different vintages and perhaps our finest dessert wine to date. Absolutely sensational!!! We did not produce any wines in 2020 due to many often-told trials and tribulations, so we are featuring three Cellar Selections that are absolutely singing now with some bottle age. The 2018 High Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon and Sonoma Cabernets are joined by the 2018 Humbaba. A bit of the edge has been rounded and layers of complexity are emerging making these immensely enjoyable to drink now, but as with virtually all of our red wines, they will hold well for an additional 10 years.

We hope that this year has been good for all of you, our club members. We hope, too, that some Enkidu wine has been enjoyed, enhancing just a moment of your day. That is my simple goal…

Lift a glass and DRINK WELL!!!

Phil 


2021 Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma County
It’s back. Our Sauvignon Blanc was fermented and aged in French oak barrels, 25% new. By producing the wine in barrels, our Sauvignon Blanc benefits from the lees (dead yeast cells) contact which adds richness, flavor, and complexity. The 2021 Sauvignon Blanc is reminiscent of previous vintages with river rock and flint and accompanied by lemon peel, hay and coriander. The flavors are full with green apple, pineapple, nectarine, hay and brioche. This wine will benefit from a few months aging. Until recently, we had been pouring the 2018 vintage in our tasting room and it was tasting fantastic with a little age. I love to accompany our Sauvignon Blanc with seared scallops on a bed of thinly sliced green apple and gently sautéed finely cut fennel. Sprinkle a few fennel threads on top. 85 cases produced. Drinking window Now – 2027.

V2 EA Portly Petite Sirah
Our latest version of our Petite Sirah port style dessert wine is sinfully good…perfect to snuggle up with on a cold, rainy night. The V2 is mainly made of the 2019 vintage, but overall is comprised from five vintages dating back to 2014. This complex port explodes with black pepper-tinged blackberry compote, black current, bittersweet chocolate, walnuts, and brandied cherries. The structure is rich, but not overly heavy with sugar, making it balanced enough to enjoy with desserts, cheeses, tree nuts. EA will age for 20 years and beyond, making this a wine to enjoy now, but a perfect wine to add to your collection for future stormy nights. 42 cases produced. Drink now – 2045.

2021 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley
In 2021 the drought really affected many vineyards, but I saw a big effect on Pinot Noir in the Russian River Valley and in Carneros. A casualty of these conditions was the loss of the vineyards from which I normally source fruit. One was ripped up, one was in poor condition, and the other with very little fruit. Good fortune shined on us as we added two fabulous vineyard sources in the Russian River Valley; Hogans Run and Peters Vineyard. The result is a medium bodied Pinot Noir with more earthiness from the Pommard clone sourced from Peters. Black cherry, blackberry, hints of new French oak and brioche, saddle leather. A little less fruit forward than our previous vintages with more of a brooding structured Pinot Noir. 200 cases produced. Drink now – 2031.

2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County
The 2018 vintage for Cabernet was sensational. We were fortunate that we were able to produce three Cabs that are standouts. This particular Cab has been very popular. The 2018 is deeply scented with black currants, bittersweet chocolate, blackberries, and a hint of sage. The flavors of currant liqueur, sandalwood and vanillin are supported with mouth filling tannin that provide a sensational backbone. 1,300 cases produced. Drink now – 2028.

2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, High Mayacamas
The High Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon is a high-altitude Cab featuring the fruit from four vineyards scattered among the Mayacamas mountain range that runs from south Sonoma/Napa and up through Mendocino and Lake counties. From mountain vineyards you derive concentrated fruit that produce wines of outstanding structure and richness. Our 2018 High Mayacamas is deep and rich with black fruit and toasted oak. The black cherry compote and chocolatey “tar” comes in strong as the wine opens. Now with a bit more bottle age, this beauty has wonderful blackberry flavors accented with sweet French oak (33% new). The tannins are more elevated in these wines so they would benefit from decanting when opened and served young. The richness and tannin structure suggests a very long life. 190 cases produced. Drink 2021-2033.

2018 “Humbaba” Sonoma County-Lake County
The Humbaba is one of our best loved wines. From its beginning in 2006, Humbaba has been an aromatic blend of Syrah and Petite Sirah, with the occasional inclusion of other Rhône varietals. Often, Humbaba displays 9 or 10 different descriptors most of which are not fruit. Tapenade, beef blood, white pepper are often present. And as many fans of this wine know, Humbaba ages exceptionally well with extraordinary complexity and depth well after 10 years. The 2018, a 45% blend each of Syrah and Petite Sirah, 8% Grenache, 2% Mourvèdre, continues this run showing the signature camphor, bittersweet chocolate, roots, plum and blackberry. 300 cases produced. Drink now – 2030.