Scholium Project

2008 Androkteinos Hudson Vineyards

opening the puncheons for the morning punchdown

Our second year of the new regime that defines our best red wines: fermentation only in wooden puncheon with initial foot-treading to break up the grapes; only gentle punchdown with hands or feet (no mechanical devices, rarely even a stainless tool), long, slow fermentation with slow, cool maceration as the winery becomes drowsy after harvest.

We set new heights in our own winemaking with this vintage of Androkteinos. The fruit is syrah from Hudson in Napa. As always, we waited for the skins to become slack before harvest; for the fruit itself no longer to smell like fruit, but to smell like leather and serrano ham as we walk the vineyard.

Grower and winemaker alike were intimidated by late season rains, but we waited, as the fruit lost its freshness and began its decay still on the vine. We seized that moment of inflection, from fruit to rot, and harvested. The wine is pure and strong; it has complexity, and layers to unfold, but has no reticence. It is marked by black olive and rosemary now, in its youth; and the extinguished campfire aroma that comes from making the wine with whole clusters. Its power does not seem to come from tannin, but from something bloody and explosive linked to its acid spine.

95 cases produced