Most of the 2008 red wines produced by Navarro displayed very few smoky notes immediately after being fermented and aged; subsequently the wines received our normal "hands-off" winemaking regime. Not this Syrah. After fermentation in the early winter, we noticed that the Syrah was definitely smoky. We decided to filter all lots using reverse osmosis before we barrel aged the wine in order to ameliorate the filtration's side effects. The filtration had the intended effect of substantially reducing the smoky flavors, but unfortunately also diminished intensity.
Reverse osmosis is a type of filtration designed to remove specific large molecules. Its primary commercial use is water purification, removing salt from seawater. In 2008 we used RO to remove smokiness in the Syrah.
Jim and Gaia inspecting head trained Syrah vines.
After ten months in seasoned French barrels, a blend was selected from the three available lots and bottled in August 2009. When compared to our regular Syrahs, this bottling is lighter and less forceful but it is definitely fruitier than most Navarro 2008 red wines and is charmingly quaffable. Flavors of dark cherry dominate, with suggestions of blackberry, tobacco and herbs. We like to serve it with homemade fennel or spicy merquez sausage. Silver Medal winner.
We attempt to get most of Navarro's grape handling area cleaned up before dark. Every machine, hose, clamp or fitting used during the day is cleaned, sterilized and then put away for the evening.