2012 Golgotha Reserve Hudson Vineyards
This wine is composed of 100% Syrah from the Widowmaker block of Lee Hudson’s Henry Road vineyards in the Carneros of Napa. The vines were planted in the early 2000s in the deep, rich, loamy bottomland of the Huichica creek. We began working with this vineyard in 2007; for us, from the beginning one of the keys was making the wine 100% whole cluster, with no destemming.
In 2010, for the first time, I realized that the vigor of the vines changed subtly but decisively about 4/5 of the way down the rows. Before harvest, I started paying strict attention to the way that the fruit tasted and the way it was ripening. As harvest drew close, I determined a reasonable break point between the more and less vigorous and vines and decided to harvest them separately. We found that as you walked north along the rows, the last 14 plants or so in each row produced fruit that was absolutely distinct in character. I looked at a soil map and discovered that there was very slight change in slope— the less vigorous vines were a foot or two higher than the more vigorous ones, and they drained down into the more vigorous zone. But even more— there was a lens or rocks a foot or two under the soil i the higher section. There was tiny but decisive hill of stones at the end of the rows. Golgotha is made from the ton or so that we made from this hill.
The winemaking for Golgotha is nearly identical to Androkteinos’. The only difference is that it requires an additional 3-6 months in the cellar for maturation. In 2012, we kept it in barrel for 24 months.
We bring the fruit in, introduce it gradually into 600 liter puncheons turned vertical, with their heads removed. We stomp the fruit thoroughly as it goes in, intending to break every berry and release some of them from the stems. Then we refrigerate the puncheons for a week or so and macerate the fruit to release a wide spectrum and depth of flavor. Once the fermentation begins, we encourage it by heating and bring the whole system up to about 95 degrees and keep it as warm as possible for 3 weeks or a month. During this time, we are climbing into the puncheons and performing pigeage-- foot treading— no less than 4 times per day. The fruit is rich and strong and we want it to give everything up. The result is a very intense wine, surprisingly tannic for Syrah.
The wine usually ages without SO2 and is bottled with 0 free and about 40 mg/L total.
A note on the name: Androkteinos means “Slayer of Men.” This is a step up. Golgotha = “Hill of Skulls.”
Total production about 20 cases.