We usually wait until late October or early November to harvest Riesling when the grapes begin to rot in Anderson Valley's cold, wet weather. The rot that dominates in the chilly damp is botrytis, the noble rot, which shrivels the berry, concentrating grape flavors, sugars and acids enabling us to produce luscious Cluster Select Late Harvest wines that have received worldwide acclaim. In early October the grapes were almost perfectly ripe and the weather began to cool after some showers. It was looking good by mid October; the grapes were now ripe and botrytis had started to spread. Then we had a series of early frosts, one as low as 26°F. That burnt all the leaves, leaving them in a sad brown crumble on the ground. The grapes were left dangling in the direct sun making them susceptible to an ugly stepsister of botrytis called aspergillum, which adds bitterness and off-flavors to the wine. The frost had sealed our 2008 harvest decision. We would pick all the ripe Riesling for a dry style wine and leave no fruit on the vines to produce a dessert wine.
Pre-Release members fill their plates at Navarro's annual barrel tasting.
Fruity, floral esters of a young Riesling remind us of the wildflowers growing between our vines.
Each vineyard site and clone was fermented as a separate lot and in the spring we selected a cuvée from our four best sites: one lot's predominate flavor is green apple, another resembles red apple, a third adds peachy and floral notes, and the last contributes a citrus, almost tangerine element. Try serving with curry-filled samosas and keep your taste buds open to revolutionary food pairings with this dry, floral stunner.Gold Medal winner.
Empty bottles are washed, filled with inert gas to protect the wine from oxygen, then filled with Riesling and corked. In 2008 we filled the bottles with a crisp, dry wine in contrast to 2007 when Navarro produced an incredibly delicious
Cluster Select but hardly any dry Riesling.