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

2015 Navarro Anderson Valley Edelzwicker

2015 Navarro Anderson Valley Edelzwicker

One may think this wine is a proprietary blend; however, it’s really an homage to the wines of Alsace, where “Edelzwicker” refers to a “noble blend” of the region’s four noble grapes – Riesling, Gewürtztraminer, Pinot Gris, and Muscat. Each grape adds something, whether acidity from the Riesling, body from the Gewürtz, or aromatic highlights from all four. Navarro’s goal is to blend a fruit-driven, delicious wine that doesn’t necessarily taste of any of the component grapes. Navarro’s 2015 succeeds! Comprised of 42.5% Pinot Gris, 42.5% Riesling, 10.2% Gewürztraminer, 4.8% Muscat Blanc, the wine 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
2015 Navarro Mendocino County Chardonnay

2015 Navarro Mendocino County Chardonnay

Looking for a subtle and balanced wine that will accentuate rather than overpower the food on your plate? Then check out Navarro’s 2015 Mendocino Chardonnay! A blend of 2/3 Anderson Valley – for citrus and pear notes – and 1/3 Potter Valley, which adds some peach and melon, the wine delights with pure Chardonnay fruit flavors as well as both crispy and creamy textures. Navarro accomplished this by first fermenting the wine in French oak barrels that were well-seasoned, limiting the amount of “oakiness” going into the wine. Lees aging and stirring (battonage) added additional complexity. Later, only 50% went through the secondary, malolactic fermentation, which converts tart malic acid into softer lactic acid. The result is a superb cool-climate chard that cascades with a complex melange of lemon, pear and melon flavors, an expansive creamy mid palate and a crisp finish.

Details
¥ 3,900
2015 Navarro Anderson Valley Gewurztraminer

2015 Navarro Anderson Valley Gewurztraminer

Though Pinot Noir now appears dominant in the Anderson Valley, it was as a place to grow Alsatian varieties like Gewürtztraminer that first attracted Navarro’s founders. Having all but disappeared from the Napa Valley, it maintains a significant presence in the fog-swept hills of Western Mendocino County. Navarro has researched and adopted such Alsatian practices as high density vine spacing and using large oak oval casks for both fermentation and aging. In order to obtain the purest fruit flavors, they harvest at night and add no sulphur to the grapes prior to fermentation. 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
2012 Navarro Anderson Valley

2012 Navarro Anderson Valley "Methode a l'Ancienne" Pinot Noir

For those unfamiliar with the Anderson Valley, Navarro's Methode a l'Ancienne may prove that western Mendocino really is one of California's great regions for Pinot Noir. The estate vineyards around Philo have produced a wine that has everything a pinot lover seeks: an aromatic tapestry of red cherry fruit, Asian spice and earth wrapped up in an elegant package of refreshing acidity, structure and velvet tannins. After three consecutive challenging, cool vintages, 2012 was one of the best in decades. Moderate temperatures with a perfect combination of warm afternoons and foggy nights led to a long growing season. Native yeast fermentation, low use of SO2 and judicious use of oak has led to a sleek and sophisticated wine. Give it time in the glass to reveal hidden nuances of red fruit and flowers.  

Details
¥ 5,700