Winemaker and owner Phillip Staehle created Enkidu to produce wines of distinction and get back to “working with my hands, to use all of my senses, and live and work according to the seasons of the year.” Phillip cultivated his distinguished winemaking skills while working with the late Dick Graff at Carmenet Vineyards (Chalone Wine Group) from the mid-80s to the mid-90s and was especially inspired by the winery’s philosophy “to be the best you can, to not compromise on quality; and most certainly concentrate on every detail.” At Enkidu, Phillip specializes in crafting Pinot Noir, Petite Sirah and Rhône varietals sourced from smaller vineyards throughout Sonoma, Lake County and the Sierra Foothills. In employing a minimalist approach to winemaking, Phillip strives to manipulate the wine as little as possible and rather, maximize the pure expression of the fruit. The winery takes its name from an ancient Sumerian story about King Gilgamesh and his best friend, Enkidu (steward of the land and protector of animals); throughout the story, Enkidu’s character evolves over time while staying true to his nature “the same way a grape does as it journeys from the vine, through the vinification process, to a finished wine.” This Southern Rhône Valley-style blend of 45% Syrah, 29% Grenache and 26% Mourvèdre channels its Mediterranean inspiration with vivid aromas of lavender, dusty earth and sun-baked black cherry fruit. Seamlessly integrated tannins and a peppy acidity emerge on the luscious, juicy, medium-bodied palate, while ten months aging in neutral oak barrels lends the wine a sturdy backbone and imparts spicy flavors of cinnamon, cedar and star anise. This ‘E’ series of wines from Enkidu are intended to be enjoyed every day of the week, and we can definitely get on board with that! A perfect BBQ wine, we think this would go great alongside grilled lamb chops, dry rub ribs or a classic burger!