It has been over forty years since we discovered that Anderson Valley is a perfect spot in California to grow and make wine from the same grape varieties that produce wine in Alsace, France. We admit to having a special place in our hearts for the wines of Alsace; the blend of German and French cultures has resulted in the region producing fruity, varietally-labeled white wines. Alsatian vignerons try not to obscure the grapes' varietal aromas and flavors with any oak or malolactic fermentation tones. In the 19th century, the white wine that was considered the best in Alsace was not a single varietal but rather an enticing blend of aromas and flavors produced from the four noble grape varieties: Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris and Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains. Edel = noble and Zwicker = blend.
We ferment and age Riesling, Gewürz, Pinot Gris and Muscat in oak ovals as was the tradition in Alsace. After eight months aging sur lie the wines have clarified naturally, reducing the use of filtration.
In spite of its tongue-twisting Germanic name, in Navarro's tasting room , Edelzwicker continues to be our bestselling white wine other than Navarro's flagship dry (and tongue-twisting) Gewürztraminer.
Riesling is noted for scintillating acidity, Gewürztraminer for its richness, Pinot Gris for unctuous texture and Muscat for its seductive perfume, so it's easy to see why a blend of these wines would be delicious and highly prized. Navarro's Edelzwicker is a perfect foil for spicy foods, and despite its tongue-tickling name, it continues to be a favorite in many restaurants featuring Navarro wines. This is summer vacation in a glass: spiced peach, mango, pineapple and Meyer lemon from a blend of 47% Pinot Gris, 27% Gewürz, 25% Riesling and 1% Muscat. The bargain price and a hint of residual sugar make it perfect to sip both before and during supper.
Riesling, Gewürz and Muscat juices are both sweet and aromatic. When we lees filter juice, it's best to watch where you put your hands.