Once Navarro's Gewürztraminer had reached veraison, the magical week when the green grapes turn amber, the weather cooled; daytime temperatures rarely exceeded the 70's and nighttime temperatures dropped steadily. That meant a delayed harvest for our dry Gewürztraminer; three weeks later than in 2005 and a month later than in 2004. The fruit ripened at a snail's pace so the flavors developed fully without excessive sugars. The grapes retained more aromatics since hot weather burns off Gewürztraminer's floral terpenes. The cool nights prevented the fruit from losing acidity. The result is extraordinary balance: rose petal and tropical fruit aromas, full flavors that linger, moderate alcohol, crisp acidity and a dry finish. This is not a simple stainless-steel fermented California fruit bomb. Navarro ferments and ages Gewürztraminer in temperature controlled French and German oak ovals; unlike stainless-steel the wood casks slowly expose wine to tiny amounts of oxygen.
Oak casks require a slim and willing worker like Megan to get inside to clean them. Navarro's large ovals imitate the cooperage of some of our favorite producers in Alsace but we have added internal stainless steel cooling panels to insure that the fermentations keep cool and proceed slowly.
Tardy harvesting flusters winemakers and pickers but vines thrive in chilly weather.
Navarro's crew rushes to gather Gewürztraminer.
When fermentation ends, casks are topped to the brim and the wine is allowed to rest on the yeast for 8 months to clarify naturally. Although the dominant flavors are tangerine-lichee, there are hints of charcuterie from the yeast contact and a round mouthfeel from the micro-oxygenation. Gold Medal winner. Best of Class.
Deleafing ahead of a storm. 2006 was a cool, late season with scattered showers. In the fall we always have our eyes to the sky looking for storm clouds.