It's hard to believe but when we planted our first vines thirty-five years ago, Pinot Noir was less popular than Gewürztraminer. Granted, it took us a while to figure out how to grow and vinify good Pinot. Actually, we remain eager learners because we're smitten with the delicate red wines that can be grown in Anderson Valley's rugged climate. In the late eighties Navarro began expanding Pinot Noir production. We've taken our time trying to study the effect of clones and rootstocks in our soils and climate. We started with four acres of Pinot in 1974; one clone planted on one rootstock. We now have 9 clones on 6 rootstocks in various combinations. There were several social changes that increased the demand for good Pinot. In the seventies, California Pinots tended to be over-loaded with tannin but fortunately winemakers backed off heavy extraction in the eighties. Two events occurred that transformed Pinot into an American idol. First the Mediterranean diet was heralded and resveratrol, found naturally in red grapes, was associated with lowered incidence of coronary disease.
Aged exclusively in 60 gallon French oak barrels, this bottling is a blend of wines from five Anderson Valley vineyards north of the town of Philo, one of the four most expensive Pinot appellations in California.
Clusters and berries were small in 2007 resulting in deeply colored and flavored wines. "Resveratrol is a phytoalexin produced naturally by several plants when under attack by pathogens such as bacteria or fungi." -Wikipedia. Pinot Noir historically produces the best wine when grown in cool areas in conditions that favor rot. Interestingly, Pinot Noir is a variety with one of the highest levels of resveratrol in the skins. Is this a defense mechanism that Pinot has acquired by natural selection?
A decade later the movie Sideways pushed the alluring nature of Pinot and sales of the variety continued to skyrocket. All the grapes for this Pinot were fermented the old fashioned way then aged in French oak barrels for ten months. It smacks of cherry and plum backed up with bacon, toast, and vanilla elements from the barrels. It's quite a bargain for nineteen bucks. Gold Medal winner.