Red wines from the southern Rhone are a blend of thirteen possible grape varieties but the most highly regarded varieties are Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre. New World winemakers puzzle over what to call their similar blends. In the USA if one variety is more than 75% of the total, our labeling laws permit the winemaker to identify the wine with the name of the dominant variety, as we did here. If no one grape contributes at least 75% of the blend, then the wine is given a "fanciful name" like Navarrouge or Edelzwicker. We like the way the laconic Aussie winemakers bluntly name their blends of Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvèdre. Down Under this blend would simply be known as SGM (or GSM if Grenache is dominant). This bottling is 82% Syrah (Shiraz) from two ridge-top vineyards: Eaglepoint Ranch overlooking the Russian River and Signal Ridge Vineyards overlooking Anderson Valley.
We've been purchasing grapes from Eaglepoint since 1978 and Casey has always grown red grapes that produce flavorful, firm and ageworthy wines. We first started with Cabernet Sauvignon, then in 1995 Eaglepoint began supplying grapes for Navarro's Syrah as well.
Jim made Navarro's first Syrah in 1995 but it wasn't until the 2002 vintage that we started adding Grenache and Mourvèdre because he likes Aussie SGM blends.
The Eaglepoint fruit has a firm black cherry core and the cooler Signal Ridge wine smells distinctly like white pepper. Sixteen percent is Grenache from Eaglepoint Ranch which softens the blend with fruity berry flavors and a final addition of two percent Mourvèdre adds a hint of damp earth. So... put another lamb chop on the barbie. Gold Medal Winner.
Manuel unloads bins of Syrah ready for processing into wine.