This is the fifth vintage of Navarro Rosé that we've produced using grape varieties grown in Southern France but the inspiration started decades earlier while we were still students at Berkeley. We blush to admit that we ever drank sweet pink fizzy plonk in a dorm room but sometime in the early seventies our friend Kermit Lynch, then a young wine purveyor, sold us the first of many bottles of Domaine Tempier Rosé from Bandol in Provence. The experience was memorable and it was the first time we realized that a rosé wine could be dry, oak aged and delicious with a meal. Some rosés are afterthoughts of red wine production; they are made by "bleeding off" juice at crushing to intensify the remaining must for red wine. Since grapes for red wine are picked very ripe, saignée rosé is too alcoholic and you lose the delicate flavors and balancing acidity that make rosé so refreshing. In 2006 Navarro made four lots of rosé from four growers. The wine fermented dry in seasoned French oak barrels and rested on the lees three months before blending.
This vintage is 50% Grenache from Debbie Pallini's Vineyard, 19% Grenache from McDowell Vineyard and 31% Carignan from Rosewood Vineyard.
This Spring we helped our friend Kermit Lynch celebrate becoming a Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur, an honor bestowed by the French government. Kermit's clear and lively writing about European wines as well as his inventory of inspiring wines has certainly helped educate our palates.
At blending only three of the four lots made the cut because Navarro's staff decided that the Syrah lot was too heavy-handed for the mix. The resulting wine is nuanced with flavors of strawberry tea, guava, vanilla and roses. We think you will blush with pleasure if you try it with a salad of baby greens, goat cheese and walnuts. It's best drunk young and fresh. We have very limited supplies and will sell out soon.
The Carignan in Rosewood Vineyard was planted in the 1930's. Rosewood is owned by Debbie's sister Tia. We like the guava notes that these old Carignan vines add to the cuvée.