Navarro Vineyards

Award Winning Wines from the Anderson Valley

In the southwestern corner of Mendocino County, the Anderson Valley is pastoral and remote, a woodland and agricultural landscape that features farms and vineyards but few fancy restaurants or tasting rooms. Yet it is home to some of California’s top vineyards for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay as well as Riesling and Gewürtztraminer. The cool climate is a key feature of the region. The ocean fog that blows in regularly through the gap at the “deep end” of the valley blesses the vineyards with a long growing season. Grapes ripen slowly over the cool summer but often get an extra boost of ripeness in the warmth of early autumn. Although wine production in the Anderson Valley was significant in the early 1900s, the old vineyards were long gone when Ted Bennet and Deborah Cahn purchased their 900-acre sheep near Philo in 1973. Lovers of Alsatian wines, they first planted Gewürtztraminer and Riesling before recognizing the potential their land would have for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Today, with the second generation of the family firmly involved in all aspects of the operation, Navarro Vineyards produces wine from the third-largest Pinot Noir holdings in the valley. Yet Navarro is hardly a specialist producer. By sourcing grapes from their estate as well as from growers throughout the Anderson Valley and other Mendocino AVAs, they produce a wide spectrum of varietal wines, including Zinfandel, Cabernet, Syrah, Chardonnay, Riesling, Gewürtztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat, Pinot Gris and more. From the start, the team at Navarro has been dedicated to the art and science of viticulture and winemaking. Years of experimentation with grape varieties, clones, rootstocks, trellising, tanks, barrels and temperature control have helped them learn how to craft excellent wines from their Anderson Valley and Mendocino County vineyards. The vineyards are farmed sustainably, and meticulous management ensures that, at harvest, grapes enter the winery in such fine condition that they can be fermented on their native yeasts and with no or very low SO2 required. Navarro wines please with intense fruit aroma and flavor, refreshing acidity and great length and depth; as one reviewer has written: “consistently awesome.”

Wines from this Winery

2018 Navarro Anderson Valley Edelzwicker

2018 Navarro Anderson Valley Edelzwicker

The wines of Alsace stand out from most of their French brethren for being made and labeled as single varietals. However, Alsatian wineries do sometimes make a blend of all four noble varieties – Riesling, Gewürtztraminer, Pinot Gris, and Muscat. This delicate, unique wine they call Edelzwicker – literally “noble blend.” Each grape adds something, whether acidity from the Riesling, body from the Gewürtz, or aromatic highlights from all four. Navarro’s goal is to craft a fresh and fruity wine that is not dominated by the particular qualities of any particular grape. In 2018, the blend consists of 34% Pinot Gris, 30% Gewürztraminer, 29% Riesling, and 7% Muscat Blanc. This is a wine that delights both nose and palate with a melange of floral aromas and tropical, spice and crisp citrus flavors. A delight before or with dinner, Edelzwicker is a winner with spicy dishes or traditional Alsatian fare like sauerkraut or sausages.

Details
¥ 3,600
2017 Navarro Anderson Valley Gewurztraminer

2017 Navarro Anderson Valley Gewurztraminer

While the Anderson Valley is now well-known for Pinot Noir, Navarro’s founders at first recognized its potential for Alsatian varieties like Gewürtztraminer. Having all but disappeared from the Napa Valley, this pink-skinned, aromatic grape maintains a significant presence in the fog-swept hills of Western Mendocino County. In 2017, ample winter rains led to a growing season of moderate temperatures until September, when a heat spike sent the mercury at midday to 43 °C. The winery resorted to turning on the frost control sprinklers in order to cool the vineyards. Fortunately, Gewurtztraminer skins are thick and not prone to mildew! In order to optain pure flavors, the winery harvests at night and adds no sulphur to the grapes prior to fermentation in large oak oval casks. At bottling the finished wines have trace amounts of SO2 well below the strict standards of the European Union. Golden-colored and with a perfume of lychee and rose petals, the Estate Bottled Gewürtztraminer is a serious wine: dry and full-bodied but crisp enough to pair well with spicy Asian curries or traditional Alsatian pork.

 

Details
¥ 4,500