2018 "Humbaba" Rhône Blend
An aromatic blend of Syrah and Petite Sirah with a touch of Grenache and Mourvèdre. Ages exceptionally well with extraordinary complexity and depth.
Red Rhône Blend
Sept 25 - Oct 23, 2018
24.4 - 27.2
19 months, 100% neutral French oak
February 21, 2020
For the 2018 Humbaba I added a small bit of Grenache from the Scorsone vineyard in Dry Creek Valley, and a wee bit of Mourvedre. The Grenache contributes crushed red fruit, while the Mourvedre adds in 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 reins 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.
The grapes that make up the Humbaba blend come from the cool climate Syrah vineyards, Odyssey and Atoosa in the Russian River Valley, and the Steiner Vineyard on Sonoma Mt. The Petite Sirah comes 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 Syrahs is heavily affected by the ocean influence. The Red Hills, however, see more constant sunshine and much warmer temperatures. Ideal for Petite Sirah, and then combining the benefits of red volcanic soil at a 2,000’ elevation result in 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 Scorsone Vineyard in Dry Creek, while the Mourvedre is from the Sierra Foothills.
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 performed a 15% saignée 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.