Mourvèdre is a late ripening grape variety and in Mendocino's cool climate we've only been able to bottle it as a varietal wine three vintages out of the last six. Like our Old Vine Zin and Petite Sirah, the goblet trained vines are in their seventies. This wine's aromas are most difficult to describe because they are neither floral nor fruity. One taster described the dominant aroma as "tree bark" but we suspect only a beaver would find that appealing. Some of the other descriptors bandied around at our morning tasting included whiffs of mushrooms, white pepper, allspice or dry-cured black olives. Once swallowed, the huckleberry fruit jumps out in the mid-palate and stretches into a long, rich finish. Try it with a slowly simmered beef stew with shitake mushrooms. Given the age and output of the vines, we're worried that this may be Navarro's last Mourvèdre. Gold Medal winner.
Navarro's winemaker Jim is over six feet tall, to help give you a perspective on the enormous size of these old vines. Note the lack of irrigation, frost protection and trellis system. Even the grape stakes that these vines were once trained to have long since disappeared.