Each spring we release Chenin Blanc a mere six months after the grapes were picked. Most of Navarro's wines see much more time in cooperage and in the bottle but we prefer this variety young and nubile, the same way we enjoy a Vouvray. The grapevines that produced this lively wine however are gnarled with age. Years ago our friend John Young was ready to pull them out and replant to another variety but luckily we were able to convince him to retain the vines by promising him a profitable price for his Chenin. This vintage was fermented in stainless steel and bottled young so that you can still taste last September's harvest in the glass. In fact, this wine sells out so quickly to Pre-Release and mailing list customers that we often have none available when we start receiving complimentary press.
John's old Chenin Blanc vines rarely produce a large crop but there is a depth to the wine and an unmistakable sense of place.
Last year it received a flattering review in the San Francisco Chronicle but our inventory was gone by the time the phones started ringing. Here's what they said about last year's: "Three Stars. This is a big, rich Chenin and mouthfilling with tropical fruit, pear and yellow peach aromas and flavors. It's clean, balanced and an outstanding value." So don't dally. By the bottle it is a good deal and by the case you can't afford not to try it since it works out to only $9.25 per bottle.
It took a week of morning laughter to arrive at a final blend for this wine. As in Anjou we augmented Chenin's peachy flavors with herbs and citrus from an 18% Sauvignon Blanc addition. Two percent Chardonnay added a touch of oak and roundness.