Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Navarro Vineyards/Crush In The Anderson Valley

A few weeks ago I visited Debra at Navarro Vineyards.It's that time of the year...CRUSH 2017!It's amazing how much work it takes to make these great wines,and I love the wines from the fabled valley.Let's check out the tasting notes on a couple wines from Navarro Vineyards,and also take a look at our destination tonight,as we dine at Stark's Steakhouse! Let's start with the amazing Pinot Noir ! Navarro's Deep End Pinot is stylistically different from the Méthode à l'Ancienne bottling, much the result of growing grapes up in the hills versus down in the valley. Navarro's regime for the Méthode style developed between 1983 and 1996; during that period we produced many experimental lots to figure out how to maximize wine quality produced from Pinot Noir grapes grown down on the valley floor. In the mid 90's we decided to expand our Pinot Noir production by creating new vineyards up on the hills. The microclimate in our upper vineyards is cooler than the valley floor, with a longer growing season; the vines bud out earlier and the crop is generally harvested later. We began our experimentation again. The regime that we developed for the Méthode wine was our starting point and over the years we've tweaked that recipe for the Deep End fruit. The first bottling from the upper vineyards was in 1998.We also have a great Zinfandel from Navarro Vineyards! Early in the 1991 season Navarro Vineyards made several trips to the Ukiah area to find mature, well-tended Zinfandel vineyards planted on sites conducive to high quality viticulture. Not every site or grower are equal, so every year since then, they purchased fruit from multiple vineyards and growers to ascertain which sites and growers produce fruit that results in the best wines for Navarro. In 1999, they made their first wine from Al Tollini's block, planted in 1932; we were so pleased that the wine produced from his vineyard has been in every subsequent Navarro Zinfandel vintage. In 2004, we made our first wine from Ed Berry's 60 year-old Zinfandel vines and, like Tollini, the wine produced from Berry's vineyard became a constant in Navarro's Zinfandel production. The long term respect that has developed with these two growers is beneficial to Navarro. Not only does Navarro have access to the grower's best fields, but since Jim, Navarro's winemaker, spends a lot of time walking the vines with Al and Ed, they both know exactly the fruit quality that Navarro expects and can adjust their farming practices to that end.To maximize quality from any particular vineyard site, the winemaker has to make wine from that site over several vintages. After fermenting for about ten days, the 2014 must was pressed and the first squeeze was racked to seasoned French oak barrels to finish fermentation and age for ten months. These wines are perfect for most meat dishes and tonight we will enjoy the steaks from Stark's steakhouse and Seafood.We will get to the seafood...another day! Casually elegant with an upscale feel, Stark’s Steak & Seafood serves up classic fare with a modern approach. Stark’s features sustainable seafood, Certified Angus Beef® brand, Prime and Natural, in-house dry-aged beef, and American Kobe. All beef is hand selected by owner/executive chef Mark Stark and served à la carte. Guests may choose from an extensive list of local and international wines, many in half bottles. Full bar features signature and well cocktails and over sixty whiskeys. Now we will dine with these great wines from this world class winery from Anderson valley!Cheers! Click here and join us as we enjoy great wines and stories from Anderson Valley and Stark's Steakhouse.

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