Aromas of briary black fruit, red cherries and dried herb mingle with a whiff of dried red earth. This poised Cabernet delivers the kind of finely detailed, beautifully balanced flavors of anise, blackberry and toasted oak that pair easily with food. The palate is full and ripe, with a framework of rounded tannins and enough acidity to keep its flavors fresh. Hints of bay leaf and pine needles give the wine a pleasantly leafy note that is a hallmark of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Marionberry, boysenberry, vanilla and toast.
Enkidu proprietor Phil Staehle made wines in Napa and Sonoma counties for more than a decade, picking up skills and learning from some of the best talents in the business, before he struck out on his own and built a small winery in the town of Sonoma. It's a custom-crush facility, meaning that winemakers who don't own an actual winery can crush, ferment and age their grapes there. Of course, it wasn't long before Staehle created his own brand, using the relationships he'd built with grape growers to buy fruit from prime vineyards. The grapes for the 2007 Enkidu Cabernet Sauvignon came from two Sonoma Valley vineyards, one located high atop the Mayacamas Mountains overlooking the town of Kenwood, and the other on a well-draining section of the valley floor below. The mountain vineyard gives the wine its extracted color and tannic structure, while the valley site plumps out the flavors with rich berry fruit.
Cabernet Sauvignon usually calls for hearty protein like beef to tame its tannins, and the Enkidu Cabernet will be wonderful with classic fare such as roasts and seared steaks. But this red's relatively restrained palate gives it flexibility at the table, too, so try it with lamb, pork and boldly flavored veal and turkey dishes. The Enkidu Cabernet makes a great house red for those who love bold but juicy Cabernet. Try it with my Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Sauce and you won't be disappointed. Serve with my recipe for Baked Pommes Frites (great for soaking up the sauce) and a green vegetable to round out the meal.
A touch of Petite Sirah, historically blended with Cabernet in its homeland of Bordeaux, adds texture and fullness to the wine's body. Staehle aged the wine in French oak barrels.