Last year we released two 2007 Rieslings; one was our dry Anderson Valley bottling and the other was a botrytis kissed Late Harvest cuvée. An early October frost dashed our hopes of producing any wines affected by the noble rot in 2008 so we decided to hold back this 2007 Cluster Select bottling for an extra year as a contingency plan. We figured we could release this stunner at its peak in a year when we had no other sweet wines to offer. We generally enter Navarro wines in a narrow selection of wine competitions since we tend to sell out before the wines are judged more than a couple of times. We entered this luscious wine in all 18 major wine competitions. The result: sixteen Gold Medals and two Silvers; three times Best of Show and four times Best of Class. Rarely has any wine so consistently dominated wine tastings. In fact, one wine garnering this number of top wine awards is an exceptional event. Barely 7,100 bottles of this beauty were created so only a select few will get to taste this exciting wine.
Botrytis mold may look funky but it is the magical ingredient for an exceptional dessert wine.
Due to 19 days of frost protection in the spring, we had barely enough water to irrigate in summer. We certainly didn't have enough water to frost protect in October 2008; the leaves were burnt off the vine and we were forced to pick leaving no Late Harvest wines for 2008.
Riesling's ripe apple-peach flavors were fully developed by 23° Brix, then botrytis concentrates the sugars, acids and flavors by dehydration of the berries to 36° Brix. The real magic is that in addition to concentrating the grape flavors by 50%, the noble rot overlays the Riesling fruit with flavors of pineapple, apricot and honey. Anderson Valley's cold climate allows Riesling to ripen and still retain taut acidity, the element that keeps this wine bright and lingering. Gold Medal winner. Best of Show.