We think global warming is a misnomer. Global uncertainty seems more accurate. Regardless, Anderson Valley is consistently too chilly to ripen Cabernet Sauvignon. For this reason Navarro's Cab is grown in the Russian River watershed near Talmage south of Ukiah. Although most winegrowing regions are getting warmer, some may actually be cooling. Our friend Zack Robinson at Husch has been analyzing Ukiah temperature records from the last fifty years and asserts that Ukiah's daytime highs have dropped. The viticultural climate of Mendocino's warmest parts is now similar to Calistoga in the Napa Valley making Ukiah a promising choice for growing Cab. Eaglepoint Vineyards lies 1,175 feet above the valley floor where daytime temperatures are cooler and nighttime temperatures are warmer. The site is perfect because Cab ripens at the very end of the season when the weather is likely to be cold. Hillside vineyards typically produce small berries so the ratio of skins to juice is high resulting in wines rich in color, flavor and tannin. The cooler weather also promotes higher acidity and we've learned that the wines are shy about revealing their stuff when young.
Most years at Eaglepoint the ripening grapes are racing against impending winter weather. Note that the leaves are beginning to yellow indicating the end of the ripening season. Grower and winemaker alike tend to have frayed nerves when harvesting this late.
Time has deposited some sediment on the neck of the bottle indicating the wine has been stored cork-down in a still cellar for years. The deposit is a combination of tartrates and polyphenols, natural grape byproducts which contain antioxidants. They won't hurt you and some claim wine polyphenols may have health benefits.
It's almost five years after harvest; the wine spent two years in the barrel and then three more years resting in bottle in our cellars. It tastes delicious right now but this intense beauty will continue to unfold for at least another ten years. Gold Medal winner. Best of Class. 6 bottle limit.
"92. An extremely impressive Cabernet, marked by a rich texture, plenty of tannin to ensure longevity, and wonderfully nuanced and expressive flavors - fruit to be sure, but also secondary notes reminiscent of cocoa, leather, spice and more. Like all Navarro wines, it is available only by mail order or at the winery. This one's so good, though, that you might want to make the trip."
-Paul Lukacs June 5, 2007 winereviewonline.com