Luke and Mary, our tasting companions for our Sonoma excursion, are big Enkidu fans so we wanted to make sure to taste there.
The tasting room was uncluttered and inviting, creating a calm, tranquil environment to focus on the wine. Nikki adds: And they had purse hooks! I was pleased.
Patrick, the Tasting Room Associate™ who poured for us, was quite personable and knowledgeable. We enjoyed conversing with him and hearing his insights about the wines. He also clued us in to the story behind the name.
Enkidu Wines is named after a character in the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh. In that story, Enkidu is raised by animals in isolation from humankind. He is a wild man who is eventually civilized by interactions with other humans. This can be seen as a metaphor for the raw grape, whose flavor is “civilized” to become fine wine.
2008 Kick Ranch Sauvignon Blanc – Sonoma County
I got butter and caramel on the nose, and was surprised at the citrusy tartness on my first sip. The second sip tasted mellower. Nikki smelled honeysuckle and strawberries, and tasted Granny Smith apples and unripe strawberries; it was tart, crisp and clean.
2009 Tin Cross Chardonnay – Alexander Valley
Acidity mellow into warm fruit flavor. I noted a little bit of toast flavor on the finish. Nikki adds: I smelled sugar and minerals, and tasted a hint of oak, sharp acid and minerality, but still a slightly creamy mouthfeel. The oak stayed behind, but in a good way; I was left with a nice toasty aftertaste.
2009 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir – Sonoma Coast
Intriguing, earthy scents and flavors of smoke and esters. Nikki adds: I smelled a little bit of hemp, and tasted cherry with a nice herbal finish, and a hint of oregano.
2008 Kiamberell’s Pinot Noir – Russian River Valley
Fruity with a dark, velvety finish. Not overly complex, but friendly and accessible. Nikki adds: I thought the smell was just fantastic; it reminded me of spicy raisins. I tasted dark chocolate, tobacco, leather and peppercorns on the finish.
2008 “Odyssey” Syrah – Russian River Valley
This has a warm, soft berry aroma with a hit of cologne. I got flavors of cherries and chocolate. Our Tasting Room Associate told us this one will open up over time. Nikki adds: This was a sneak preview of a new release. It smelled of chocolate syrup, coffee and blackberry. The taste was a real illustration of what “tight fruit” means; it’s young but will be great in two years.
2008 Diener Ranch Zinfandel – Lake County
Nose has alcohol and fruit, which opens into a toasty sugar flavor. On the tongue, it’s cherries and licorice with wood. A toasty, creamy flavor rounds it out before revealing a smooth, tannic finale. Nikki adds: It was not what I was expecting, but it was very good!
2007 Diener Ranch Petite Sirah – Lake County
Aromas of blackberries and cream. It resembles the Zinfandel above somewhat, with a faster-developing arc and more noticeable alcohol. Nikki adds: I tasted candied plums.
2007 Humbaba Rhone blend – Sonoma County/Lake County/Napa
I didn’t get a lot of complexity from this wine. It seemed like it would be very good with food. Nikki adds: Maybe it was palate fatigue, but I tasted heavy wood and tobacco astringency.
Enkidu offers a nice range of wines demonstrating a broad spectrum of flavors. We were impressed with the wines, the tasting room was lovely and we enjoyed conversing with Patrick. We’ll be sure to visit again.