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2012 Riesling
  Late Harvest
  Anderson Valley, Mendocino
  (375 ml) - $19.50 Buy Now!
  (750 ml) - Sold Out!
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Ugly duckling Recent Press

Just thinking about making a late harvest wine makes us grin as we contemplate how glorious the luscious nectar will taste. We are not chuckling because of the ease of winemaking or profits; late harvest wines don't provide either. In part, our smiles are because we produce this wine from rotten, moldy grapes that are so ugly that we initially threw botrytised grapes away without tasting them first; beginner's mistake. Botrytis is the one rot that German winemakers, accustomed to chilly climes, have appreciated for centuries. Infected berries eventually shrivel, which concentrates the grapes' sugars, acids and flavors and simultaneously adds layers of honey, apricot and pineapple flavors. During harvest, we sometimes display rotten Riesling to customers in the tasting room. We remember one horrified customer who exclaimed, “I wouldn't feed those grapes to a hog.” After tasting the Late Harvest Riesling wine, she was awed at the transformation and purchased twelve bottles. This bottling is a blend of wine produced from two Riesling fields; the largest lot harvested on October 20, 2012 (the grapes in the photo above-right.) We were somewhat surprised, given the amount of rot, and the fact that we had hand-selected the most shriveled clusters, that the juice wasn't quite sweet enough for producing a Cluster Select wine (at least to Navarro's standards) so we fermented the wine a little more to produce a balanced and delicious late harvest treat. Gold Medal winner. Best of Class.
Bins of rotten Riesling, awaiting destemming. [right]

[above] Riesling, rotting after the October rains. Riesling berries are light green in color and there still are a few in this photo that aren't yet infected. The berries turn a brownish color when infected with botrytis, also called the "noble rot." As the berries begin to shrivel, the mold becomes obvious. The more the berries shrivel, the more concentrated the flavors.



[left] When we dump botrytis-affected Riesling into the destemmer, clouds of rot-spores fill the air. Navarro's crew wears masks to protect their lungs

Specifications
Harvested: Oct. 20 to Oct. 25, 2012 Sugars at Harvest: 29.2° Brix
Bottled: May 17, 2013 Cases Produced: 599
Alcohol: 12.5% Titratable acidity: 10.2 g/L
pH Level: 3.12 Residual Sugars: 7.5%

Navarro Vineyards · 5601 Hwy 128 · Philo, CA · 95466 · Tasting Room Hours: 9 AM to 6 PM Summer (5 PM Winter)
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