2016 Humbaba Rhone Blend
Red Rhône Blend
September 28 - October 7, 2016
25.5 - 26.8
21 months, 10% new French Oak
May 24, 2018
Going back to the first Humbaba we produced in 2006, the 2016 is sourced from two vineyards producing Syrah and Petite Sirah. The blend is 50/50, or very close to it, and continues the decade-long pursuit of creating a wine of which its sum is greater than its parts. There is a synergistic effect of combining these two varietals that plays as a dancing couple: the broad-structured Petite flows with and into the voluptuousness of the enticing Syrah. There is warmth of communion with the 2016 Humbaba and it shows more of the Odyssey camphor that creates the dark, bitter chocolate/mint and roots that initiates the pleasure seeker to the depths of Humbaba. On first taste the impressions of the aromas proceed into the flavors that are complemented with wild cherry and blackberries, iron and sassafras. Rich, exotic, and balanced.
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 that produced 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 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 mouthfeel 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 French oak with approximately 10% new for a total of 21 months.