Friday, July 6, 2018

Navarro Vineyards/Pinot Noir Festival/Anderson Valley

Anderson Valley is a very special place,and a couple times each year I visit some of the world class wineries in this amazing valley.Today we will stop in at Navarro Vineyards,and enjoy some of the best this fabled valley has to offer.We have a few wines in this feature.We will check out the tasting notes and some of the history of this great Anderson Valley winery. Navarro Vineyards has been growing grapes, making wine and producing non-alcoholic grape juices in the Anderson Valley in coastal Mendocino since 1974. Since we are small, you probably will not find our wine in your local store, the majority of our production is sold directly out of our tasting room and through phone and web orders.. Our three wines today are two Pinot Noirs and the "Deep end Gverts." Harvest dates over the last two decades have slowly inched earlier and earlier, a phenomenon which understandably has us concerned as excess heat during ripening can greatly reduce the aromatics of delicate white grapes. Studies have revealed that when a darkly colored grape cluster is exposed to direct sunlight, the inside berries are over 60°F hotter than the outside air temperature. In wine country during harvest, that's sous vide temperature! In the late 1990s we planted two Gewürz vineyards using French trellis designs in which the shoots are trained in vertical panels so that rows of vines could grow closer together. Unfortunately many of the grape clusters in a VSP trellis (vertically shoot positioned) are exposed to direct sunlight, so in 2000 we began replanting what have historically been our three best Gewürz fields, this time incorporating a Navarro-designed triple-T trellis that keeps the clusters in the shade during the heat of the day. Grapes grown on Navarro's triple-T trellis proved to have fresher aromas and flavors than grapes grown on the VSP trellis. This was especially true in 2016, and this bottling was produced exclusively from grapes grown under the triple-T. The juice from each of six sub-blocks was cool-fermented, and aged sur lie for nine months in seasoned oak ovals. After a series of nine tastings the final blend was selected. We were dazzled by the freshness and crispness of this bone-dry cuvée; it's the driest Gewürz we've ever bottled but features a rounded mouthfeel, a result of Navarro's sur lie aging regime. Navarro Vineyards has been growing Pinot Noir grapes in Philo and making wine from these vineyards since 1978. Had someone told us forty years ago that we would still be experimenting on how to vinify estate Pinot Noir in 2017, we would have been dumbfounded. We frequently compare winemaking to cooking, which is a fair analogy if you're comparing cleanup to prep time. Winemaking however is focused almost entirely on a single ingredient; how the grapes are grown and processed becomes the ultimate variable. Weather has a noticeable effect on the fruit our vines produce, so each year many of Navarro's winemaking regimes are adjusted to nudge the outcome yet still capture the essence of the vineyard and the vintage. For example, we've learned that pumping over and saignée (removing some free-run juice to make a heavier wine) manipulate Pinot Noir too much, so we now avoid these practices. avarro'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 realized that the hillside fruit's flavor profile was best matched with exactly the same barrels and cooper as the valley fruit. The biggest change came several years later when we discovered that the wine produced from our hillside fruit was better after sixteen months of barrel aging rather than eleven months aging for Méthode à l'Ancienne wines. In addition, the Deep End Pinots are aged in a higher percentage of new barrels than the Méthode wines and are wholly bottled unfiltered. Get lost meandering down this wine's complex flavor paths: plum, strawberry, clove, pomegranate, vanilla, cocoa and chanterelles. It's time,let relax and click on the link below and enjoy a great feature with Navarro Vineyards!Cheers! Click here and join us as we enjoy the wines of Navarro Vineyards .

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