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Enkidu Wine LLC

APRIL 2020

It’s hard to know where to begin.  So, I’ll begin here…In these extremely challenging times we quickly appreciate our friends and community with whom we surround ourselves.  Over the years we have become close and have learned much about each other’s lives.  Our relationships stand out as what is most important.  As we work through this crisis we wish for everyone to be well, and to take the precautions necessary to protect one’s self and others.  

As we are very small, with very little contact with one another, we are able to continue our production activities throughout the weeks.  We have a natural ‘social distancing’ of sorts that encourages the appropriate habits.  Anu is the only creature that gets hugs now.  Our work continues, and what this mostly involves is the bottling of our 2018 wines, many of which are in your Spring Club shipment. 

This has been a transitional period for Enkidu and family.  Enkidu is moving away from its custom crush services and becoming a client itself here in Sonoma.  We are continuing to produce in the coming vintages, but in a smaller footprint. It has been my complete privilege to have worked with Sergio in my cellar for the past six years.  In him I have found the most caring and professional cellar man I could have ever hoped to assist me in making our wines.  The quality of our wines is deeply tied to the handling and maintenance of our separate lots throughout the year; much of this is attributed to Sergio.  It is profoundly important knowing that he will continue his employment with the new management at the winery facility to whom I recently turned over to a current client.  It was our hope that we purchase a winery in El Dorado County, the Fair Play AVA, but Covid-19 stopped that in its tracks so we are postponing any move until the end of the year.  Meanwhile, we are here and looking forward to continuing our relationships that we have built over the years and offering the wines that have become your favorites.

We are positively grateful for much that has occurred. Paul, with whom many of you developed a wonderful relationship, landed a new position at the winery where I began my career in 1987.  We are extremely happy for Paul as he will thoroughly enjoy working at Repris.  My older daughter, Natasia, is going to make grandparents of us for a second time.  Baby ‘P’, her first, is going to welcome his brother, Jake, perhaps reluctantly, in the coming days.  Our younger daughter Gabbi, along with her new husband have relocated in New Zealand after a 10-week journey through Southeast Asia.  Finding jobs is now their goal…again, a twist has been added to that equation.

There are constants that give us great pleasure and reassurance in these times.  And one, a beautiful glass of wine, can enhance the moment where we appreciate the present.  To indulge and wrap yourselves with aromas and flavors offers the opportunity to be “normal” for a bit, and to that end we offer these gems:

2018 Old Vine Zinfandel, 2018 Sonoma County Cabernet, 2018 High Mayacamas Cabernet, 2018 Tina Marie Pinot Noir, 2017 Atoosa Syrah, and the 2018 Cuvée MS Grenache Blanc. This is an exceptional collection of wines in one shipment, one that you will thoroughly enjoy.

We thank you again for all of your friendship and support and are thrilled to be able to present these wines to you, our Enkidu Friends.  Remember, wine is even better in difficult times! 

Cheers, to your health, and by all means, DRINK WELL!

Phil Staehle

2018 Cuvée MS Grenache Blanc   While this is our first presentation of our Grenache Blanc in the wine club, it has been a favorite white wine of ours for years.  And for good reason. This barrel fermented gem is full of blood orange (it took me years to realize the descriptor) and green apple.  The aromas also contain river stone and yeasty lees.  A hint of brown spice enhances the apple and blood orange flavors, which are supported with great acidity and tremendous minerality.  While most whites show well not long after bottling, Grenache Blanc benefits from a year of bottle age.  This is Melissa’s favorite, hence the ‘MS’, and a staple in our home.  150 cases produced. Drink now - 2024.

2018 Tina Marie Pinot Noir   This Russian River Valley beauty has been in our portfolio for over a decade, and while we have had many outstanding vintages, this stands as my favorite.  New French oak weaves through the intoxicating aromas that jump from the glass showing raspberry, blackberry, sandalwood, and a hint of licorice.  The aromas crossover to the flavors in a harmonious wine that already shows wonderful symmetry.  A great future for this elegant, but rich Pinot Noir.  75 cases produced.  Drink 2021-2028.

2018 Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon   What used to be our ‘E’ Cab is now our Sonoma County Cab.  The 2018 vintage for Cabernet was sensational.  We were fortunate that we were able to produce three Cabs that are standouts.  The SC Cab is our best-selling wine, and for good reason. It consistently over performs in providing a fabulous value.  The 2018 is deeply scented with black currants, bittersweet chocolate, blackberries and a hint of sage.  The flavors of currant liqueur, sandalwood and vanillan are supported with mouth filling tannin that provides a sensational backbone.  As this wine was bottled just one month ago it would be best to decant, or open an hour before serving to release all its beauty.  1,250 cases produced. Drink now – 2028. 

2018 High Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon  Literally just bottled a week before shipment, the HMCS is our fourth bottling of this high altitude Cabernet 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 produces wines of outstanding structure and richness.  Our 2018 HMCS is deep and rich with black fruit and toasted oak.  The black cherry compote comes in strong as the wine opens.  This young beauty has wonderful blackberry flavors accented with sweet French oak (33% new).  The tannins are more elevated in these wines so they require a bit more air when you open and serve young.  The richness and tannin structure suggest a very long life. 200 cases produced. Drink 2021-2032.

2018 Sonoma Valley Old Vine Zinfandel   Our Old Vine Zinfandel is truly old vine.  Planted less than a mile from the Sonoma Square, the vines date back to 1910.  Planted to six varietals, that I know of, this field blend tends to be more complex and balanced than just a straight Zinfandel.  Like the Tina Marie Pinot, our vintage 2018 OVZin is perhaps our finest to date.  Extremely complex and balanced, starting with the spicy plum, blackberry and dried herb aromas that lead you to flavors of blackberries, cherries, baker spice, dried herb and a touch of toasted brioche.  A beautifully balanced, almost liqueur like wine.  250 cases produced. Drink now – 2028. 

2017 Atoosa Russian River Syrah   This is our inaugural release of the Atoosa Syrah.  This vineyard has been the cool climate source of Syrah for many fine wines produced by excellent Sonoma wineries over the years. Complexity and balance are the hallmarks here, which is of course what we always look for in our wines.  The aromas swirl with a heady display of black olive, smoked meat, savory herbs and a hint of black fruits that lead into the flavors, which further show tapenade and wild game.  Very reminiscent of a classic Côte Rôtie.   50 cases produced.  Drink now -2030.