2017 Humbaba Rhone Blend
Red Rhône Blend
September 28 - October 5, 2017
24.8 - 26.8
19 months, 10% new French oak
February 20, 2019
For the 2017 Humbaba, I added a small bit of Grenache from the awesome Steel Plow vineyard, along with a wee bit of Mourvedre. The Grenache contributes crushed red fruit, while the Mourvedre adds a touch of leather and earth. Always seeking to produce complex wines, this Humbaba, while still rich and structured, is less about power than it is about the complexity. The signature Syrah that contributes the root and camphor components still reigns supreme. These aromas and flavors are complemented with wild cherry, blueberries, iron, mocha chocolate, garrique, and sassafras. Enjoy this Humbaba with warm dishes with Middle Eastern/North African spices, especially meats. Will age for 15 years.
A small portion of the grapes that make up the Humbaba blend come from the cool climate Odyssey vineyard Syrah in the Russian River Valley, with the Petite Sirah coming from our 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. 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 benefits of red volcanic soil at a 2,000’ elevation the results are wines of extremely rich texture and outstanding structure. As I do in certain years I also added a bit of Grenache and a kiss of Mourvedre. The Grenache is from the extraordinary Steel Plow Vineyard, farmed organically by Phil Coturri.
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 19 months.