Whenever I'm out touring wineries I try to find a happy medium between scheduling appointments and letting each day take me where it may. I keep my eyes open for things that are new and interesting; more importantly I try to keep an open mind to suggestions I hear throughout my travels. Recommendations come in all shapes and sizes. When they're good ones they can change the entire course of a tasting day. That happened to me last week in Sonoma County. I was tasting in Dry Creek Valley and fully intended to spend the whole day there. But then someone recommended and described Enkidu Wines to me. I was probably about 45 minutes away, but I felt like it was where I needed to head next. Suffice it to say I'm glad I took the recommendation. I was immediately impressed when a member of their terrific staff (Abby) asked if I wanted to listen to Al Green or the Black Crowes while I tasted. I happen to like both artists a lot, but I never turn down the Reverend.
There are a lot of places to sample, and all sorts of wine in Sonoma Valley. So how do you decide where to taste? Let me tell you, Enkidu is a place you should most definitely put on your itinerary for the next time you taste in Sonoma. They have an interesting back story, and their name, label art, and overall style complements their wines. But how about the wines?, you ask.
Across the board the wines are well made, tasty and balanced. I sampled close to a dozen wines and while I had favorites, there wasn't a clunker in the bunch. Their dry Rosé (Shamhat) was the first selection that stood out above the rest for me. It was clean, crisp and dry in a very pure and refreshing way. There are several varietals that they make distinct offerings of; Pinot Noir is one of them. Each of the three Pinots I tasted was made in a genuine style for the varietal, the Tina Marie which is made from Russian River fruit was perhaps my favorite of the trio. Petite Sirah is one of my weaknesses and their 2005 Fazekas Petite sourced in Napa Valley almost had me crying uncle it was so tasty. While I'd expect it to age well, it's a particularly approachable Petite Sirah for barely being 4 years old. Dark fruit and earth characteristics are the standouts in this offering.
Those are but a handful of the wines Enkidu makes and pours. The tasting room at 8910 Sonoma Highway in Kenwood is warm, tastefully decorated and incredibly welcoming. It's a fun place to hang out for a while. As my stay progressed I met several other members of the Enkidu team and they were uniformly friendly. When the combination of well made, fairly priced wines, intersects with a great atmosphere to taste them I think it's important to take note. When I take everything they having going for them into account I doubt Enkidu will under the radar for very long. My advice is to go now and avoid the stampede when everyone else catches up.