Sarah's 2005 master's thesis at UC Davis involved measuring Pinot Noir phenolics using the Harbertson-Adams assay. Over a period of years, she analyzed every Navarro Pinot lot, most of the Pinots produced from Anderson Valley grapes, and an impressive collection of Grand and Première Cru French Burgundies. Her research revealed that Burgundy's cool and wet vintage of 2002 produced wines with appreciably less tannin than the hot vintage of 2003 for the same appellations, vineyards and producers. By and large, wines from the cooler northern Côte de Nuits averaged less tannin than the warmer appellations further south. For example, wines from northernmost Chambertin typically have a more delicate tannin structure than wines from Corton which is the southernmost Grand Cru Pinot Noir vineyard. Navarro's upper hillside vineyards are temperature-controlled by the daily ocean breezes, our own little Côte de Nuits. A delicate tannin structure is one of the differentiating attributes of grapes grown here, as well as more perfume and firmer acidity.
The Marking Corral, at 1300 feet has a view of the ocean fog and the grapes reflect the marine influence. The Pinot grapes grown here are high in color relative to tannins. These upper vineyards have smaller clusters and a much lower yield than the fields on the valley floor.
"This is a precocious wine that is very approachable now. Charming perfume of a fresh cherry pie with a hint of oak spice. Plums and berries lead the balanced attack with a perfect tug of acidity. Smooth and refined with an appealing elegance. Pick any superlative you want. Could be the best Anderson Valley Pinot Noir I tasted at this year's Festival."
We work very hard in the winery to retain these charms and the best barrels of complementary lots are selected for our Deep End Blend. Berry size was small in 2007, so the wine is more concentrated than many other vintages. The wine smells of roses and cherry; the cherry-plum flavors finish long on the palate with silky smooth tannins. Gold Medal winner. Best of Class.
Deep End Blend was aged in a mixture of 50% new French oak barrels and 50% one year old barrels. This wine will be featured at the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival on May 15th in Philo, CA and at the International Pinot Noir Celebration July 23-25 in McMinnville, OR.