We've always enjoyed drinking Champagne but our interest piqued in the early 1980's when the sparkling wine houses of Roederer Estate and Scharffenberger became our neighbors in remote Anderson Valley. We bottled Navarro's first sparkling wine in 1985 and we have produced fifteen additional sparkling wines since then. About twenty years ago, we tasted the prestigious Champagne Salon for the first time. It is only bottled in the best vintages and each bottle remains on the yeast (sur latte
) for a minimum of ten years before it is riddled and disgorged. The wine blew us away and we immediately wanted a better understanding of the effect of extended yeast contact on Navarro's sparklers. In 2006, we produced and bottled a sparkling wine cuvée comprised of 54% Chardonnay and 46% Pinot Noir. After tasting the wine a couple of years later, we agreed that it was unusually good and took the leap to leave it on the yeast for an extended period of time. We disgorged half of the wine in 2015 and disgorged this final half in 2018 after eleven years resting sur latte
. We've learned something about aging sur latte
, but unfortunately our accountants have shown us the cost of aging a wine for twelve years.
Sparkling wine in bottles. After selecting and blending the final cuvée, sugar and yeast are added to each bottle to produce the desired bubbles before the bottles are sealed with a crown cap. Champagne bottles rest on their side (
sur latte) in tall bins until they are disgorged months or years later. One of the bin's sides is removable, making it easier to stack or unstack the bottles