We try not to be envious of our neighbors who are finished picking grapes for sparkling wine while we're still stressing about the weather. Good sparklers comes from grapes harvested at only 20 degrees Brix, weeks before grapes are ready for still wine. Most winemakers focus on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay for sparkling wine but Navarro admits to a rebel streak. In 1989 we made our first sparkling Gewürztraminer and fans still ask when we'll make more. This is our third bottling. We don't make it every vintage because most years we are fairly confident that we will get our grapes to 24° Brix, perfect for our signature still Gewürz. In 2006 we weren't sure. The vintage was cold and late and the grapes had already turned a lovely ripe, russet color at only 20° Brix. Just as importantly, it was one of the rare vintages where we had several blocks of Gewürztraminer with no millerandage; all the berries were normal-sized two-seeded berries.
On the 15th and 16th of September we harvested the north half of the Peach field for this festive bottling.
We celebrated a plentiful harvest of our favorite grape from a second generation of vines; all the berries were the same size (see below) yielding a high ratio of aromatic and finely flavored free-run juice.
The ratio of free-run juice to skins was high, promoting fine flavors, clean aromas and high natural acidity, perfect for sparkling wine. We decided to celebrate with this bottling. We blended 10% Chardonnay into the cuvée to strengthen the wine's backbone. Delicate peach and spice in the aromas and flavors combined with fresh baked-bread yeastiness and a dazzling citrusy finish. Silver Medal winner.